Difference Between Primary Data and Secondary Data

Main Difference

The main difference between primary data and secondary data is that primary data is the pure form of data gathered for the first time with various data gathering techniques whereas secondary data is already gathered data that has been preserved after a variety of processing.

Primary Data vs. Secondary Data

Data is divided into two major forms by accuracy, reliability, collection type, etc. Primary Data is regarded as the most basic form of data. The data gathered in the first hand by the researcher or investigator is termed as the primary data. Whereas secondary Data is an advanced form of data. The data that is gathered again by a new researcher or seeker after it was originally gathered in the past is considered as Secondary data.

Comparison Chart

Primary DataSecondary Data
Primary Data is regarded as the most basic form of data. The data gathered in the first hand by the researcher or investigator is termed as the primary data.Secondary Data is an advanced form of data. The data that is gathered again by a new researcher or seeker after it was originally gathered in the past is considered as Secondary data.
Processing
Processing involves long timeSecondary data is the data already gathered and processed in the past.
Kind of Data
Primary data is considered to be real-time and actual data.Secondary data, on the other hand, is considered as previously known data
Explicit
Primary data is always explicit.Secondary data can be or cannot be that much specific in nature.
Retrieval Time
Primary data collection is the time taking process.Collective in relatively quite less time.
Expense
Primary data collection is costly.Secondary data collection is quite economical.
Accuracy
Primary data is often accurate.Secondary data is never completely accurate.
Sources
The primary data is collected by real-time quizzes, door to door surveys, questionnaires, various experiments, publically feedback and response, keen observations, large scale, and personal interviews, etc.The Secondary data is collected through already published books, websites, journals, guides, government records and periodicals, pamphlets, research articles, documentaries, internal and external documented records, etc.
Reliability
Accurate and precise.Not that much reliable.
Availability
Available in the raw and crude form.The secondary data is available in a precise and refined form.

What is Primary Data?

Primary Data is regarded as the most basic form of data. The data gathered in the first hand by the researcher or investigator is termed as the primary data. The primary data is available in the raw and crude form. It is difficult to extract the exact required information without high-level processing and data handling techniques. The primary data is collected by real-time quizzes, door to door surveys, questionnaires, various experiments, public feedback and response, keen observations, large scale, and personal interviews, etc. Primary data is the most reliable data ever, as it is the basic form of data initially collected.

It is surely be considered accurate and precise. Primary data is the newly gathered data, and its processing involves long time and careful data handling and analysis. Primary data collection is costly as it requires a lot more time, resources and methods to gather the data. It is the most accurate form of data.

Example

The data collected for the first time like a public survey on a social issue or real-time experiments.

What is Secondary Data?

Secondary Data is an advanced form of data. The data that is gathered again by a new researcher or seeker after it was originally gathered in the past is considered as Secondary data. Secondary data is available in the precise and refined form as it is passed through a variety of data processing scenarios and data handling techniques. Secondary in comparison to primary data is not that much reliable and accurate as it is not present in the original form and have been through various data handling and processing methods.

The Secondary data is usually collected through already published books, websites, journals, guides, government records and periodicals, pamphlets, research articles, documentaries, internal and external documented records, etc. Secondary data, on the other hand, is considered as previously known data further researched and can be or cannot be that much specific in nature in comparison to primary data. It may fulfill the certain demand or can be insufficient as well. As it is, the data already gathered and processed in the past, so its further processing is easy and quick as compared to primary data.

Example

A common example includes gathering data from a research publication, documentary or previously preserved records.

Key Differences

  • Primary data is initially collected basic form of data whereas secondary data is the previously collected past data.
  • Primary data is a raw and pure form of data while the secondary data is a processed form of data.
  • Primary data gathering is expensive as it involves various gathering and data handling methods secondary data, on the other hand, is economical as it is already in the gathered form.
  • Primary data is the most accurate and reliable form of data whereas secondary data may be or may not be accurate and is less reliable.
  • Primary data collection is more time-consuming, on the flip side, secondary data is easy, quick and readily available.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

Primary data is a pure form of data gathered for the first time, whereas secondary data is the previously gathered data preserved after processing.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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