INTRODUCTIONData can be defined asthe quantitative or qualitative values of a variable. Data is plural of datumwhich literally means to give or something given. Data is thought to be thelowest unit of information from which other measurements and analysis can be done.Data can be numbers, images, words, figures, facts or ideas. Data in itselfcannot be understood and to get information from the data onemust interpret itinto meaningful information. There are various methods of interpreting data.
Data sources are broadly classified into primary and secondary data. Differenttypes of data are quantitative and qualitative data.Data is one of the mostimportant and vital aspect of any research studies. Researchers conducted indifferent fields of study can bedifferent in methodology but every research is based data which is analyzed andinterpreted to get information.
Data is the basic unit in statistical studies.Statistical information like census, population variables, health statistics,and road accidents records are all developed from data.CONTENTSOURCESOF DATA i. PRIMARYDATAPrimary data means original data thathas been collected specially for the purpose in mind. It means someonecollected the data from the original source first hand.
Data collected this wayis called primary data.Primary dat has not been published yetand is more reliable, authentic and objective. Primary data has not beenchanged or altered by human beings; therefore its validity is greater thansecondary data. v FORMS OF PRIMARY DATA· SURVEY:Survey is most commonly used method insocialsciences, management, marketing and psychology to some extent.· QUESTIONNAIRE:Questionnaire is the most commonly used method insurvey. Questionnaires are a list of questions either an open-ended orclose-ended for which the respondent give answers. It can be conducted viatelephone, mail, live in a public area, or in an institute, through electronicmail or through fax and other methods.· INTERVIEW: Interview is a face –to- faceconversation with therespondent.
It is slow, expensive, and they take people away from their regularjobs, but they allow in-depth questioning and follow-up questions.· OBSERVATIONS:Observations can be done while letting the observingperson know thathe is being observedorwithoutletting him know. It can also bemade in natural settigsas well asin artificially created environment. v ADVANTAGES OF PRIMARYDATA· Data interpretation is better.· Targeted issues are addressed.
· Efficient spending for information.· Decency of data.· Addresses specific research issues.· Greater control.· Proprietary issues.
v DISADVANTAGES OFPRIMARY DATA· High cost.· Time consuming.· Inaccurate Feed-backs.· More number of resources is required. ii. SECONDARYDATASecondary data is thedata that has been already collected by and readily available fomother sources.When we use statisticalmethod with primary data from another purposefor ourpurpose we refer to it as secondary data. It means that one purpose’s primarydata is another purpose’s secondary data.
So that are more quickly obtainablethan the primary data.These secondary datamay be obtained from many sources including literature, industry surveys,complications fromcomputerized databases and information systems, andcomputerized or mathematical models of environmental processes.v FORMS OF SECONDARY DATA· PUBLISHEDPRINTED SOURCES There are varieties of published printedsources.Their credibility depends on many factors.· BOOKSBooks provide an insight on how muchwork has already been done on the same topic.· JOURNALS/PERIODICALSJournals provide up-to-date informationon survey topics.· MAGAZINES/NEWSPAPERSIt is useful only for the politicalrelated studies as it is not always reliable.· PUBLISHEDELECTRONIC SOURCESIt includes E-jornals General websites,Weblogs etc.
v ADVANATGES OF SECONDARYDATA· Inexpensive.· Easily accessible.· Immediately available.· Provides comparison.v DISADVANTAGES OFSECONDARY DATA· Accuracy of secondary data is not known.· Incomplete information.· Data may be outdated.
TYPES OF DATAA. QUANTITATIVEDATAQuantitativedata is collective data that can be measured by numbers.The resulting data areset of numbers. It is also known as measurement data.Eg:Cholestrol level, height, weight, Age, SAT score etc.B. QUALITATIVEDATAQualitativeis data that is are words and cannot be divided by numbers.
The resulting dataare merely labels or categories.Eg:Hair color, race, smoking status etc. CONCLUSIONData are facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.
It is factual information(such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion,or calculation. It is helpful for finding a soution or intensity of a problemand also for further refernce.