In view of the coronavirus pandemic, we are making LIVE CLASSES and VIDEO CLASSES completely FREE to prevent interruption in studies
Economics > Collection of Data > Source and Collection
Collection of Data

Source and Collection

This lesson systematically differentiates between types of data i.e. primary and secondary, to explain the methods of collection of data. It also specifies the different sources of data. The methods of data collection can be understood simply by this comprehensive lesson. Examples are used for easy understanding of data collection.

Suggested Videos

Play
Play
Play
Arrow
Arrow
ArrowArrow
Introduction to Economics
Nature of Economics
Utility of Economics to Society
Slider

 

Statistical Data: An Introduction

The bedrock of data analysis and interpretation is formed by the collection of data. ‘Data’ is basically unorganized statistical facts and figures collected for some specific purposes, such as analysis. There can be different sources of data, such as statistical and non-statistical sources.

Also, there are different methods of data collection, depending on the type of data. There are two main types of data: primary and secondary.  Understanding the difference between the two is important in deciding which method of data collection to use. Tremendous amounts of statistical analyses are carried out continuously in countries for publication purposes or even for policy framing.

Sources of Data

There are two sources of data in Statistics. Statistical sources refer to data that are collected for some official purposes and include censuses and officially conducted surveys. Non-statistical sources refer to the data that are collected for other administrative purposes or for the private sector.

Browse more Topics under Collection Of Data

Statistical Survey

A statistical Survey is normally conducted using a sample. It is also called Sample Survey. It is the method of collecting sample data and analyzing it using statistical methods. This is done to make estimations about population characteristics. The advantage is that it gives you full control over the data. Y

ou can ask questions suited to the study you are carrying out. But, the disadvantage is that there is a chance of sample error creeping up. This is because a sample is chosen and the entire population is not studied. Leaving out some units of the population while choosing the sample causes this error to arise.

Census

Opposite to a sample survey, a census is based on all items of the population and then data are analyzed. Data collection happens for a specific reference period. For example, the Census of India is conducted every 10 years. Other censuses are conducted roughly every 5-10 years. Data is collected using questionnaires that may be mailed to the respondents.

Responses can also be collected over other modes of communication like the telephone. An advantage is that even the most remote of the units of the population get included in the census method. The major disadvantage lies in the high cost of data collection and that it is a time-consuming process.

Register

Registers are basically storehouses of statistical information from which data can be collected and analysis can be made. Registers tend to be detailed and extensive. It is beneficial to use data from here as it is reliable. Two or more registers can be linked together based on common information for even more relevant data collection.

From agriculture to business, all industries maintain registers for record-keeping. Some administrative registers also serve the purpose of acting as a repository of data for other statistical bodies in a country.

Types of Data and Data Collection

Like stated earlier, there are two types of data: primary and secondary.

Primary data

As the name suggests, are first-hand information collected by the surveyor. The data so collected are pure and original and collected for a specific purpose. They have never undergone any statistical treatment before. The collected data may be published as well. The Census is an example of primary data.

Methods of primary data collection:

  1. Personal investigation: The surveyor collects the data himself/herself. The data so collected is reliable but is suited for small projects.
  2. Collection Via Investigators: Trained investigators are employed to contact the respondents to collect data.
  3. Questionnaires: Questionnaires may be used to ask specific questions that suit the study and get responses from the respondents. These questionnaires may be mailed as well.
  4. Telephonic Investigation: The collection of data is done through asking questions over the telephone.to give quick and accurate information.

Secondary data

Secondary data are opposite to primary data. They are collected and published already (by some organization, for instance). They can be used as a source of data and used by surveyors to collect data from and conduct the analysis. Secondary data are impure in the sense that they have undergone statistical treatment at least once.

Methods of secondary data collection:

  1. Official publications such as the Ministry of Finance, Statistical Departments of the government, Federal Bureaus, Agricultural Statistical boards, etc. Semi-official sources include State Bank, Boards of Economic Enquiry, etc.
  2. Data published by Chambers of Commerce and trade associations and boards.
  3. Articles in the newspaper, from journals and technical publications.

Solved Example for You

Question: Differentiate between primary and secondary data.

Answer: Primary data refers to first-hand information which is directly collected from the units being surveyed. It is pure in the sense that it has not undergone any statistical treatment yet. It is particularly collected for some purpose. Secondary data, on the other hand, is second-hand data. It is collected from some source that had originally primarily collected it. It has therefore undergone statistical treatment and is classified as impure or not original. Thus, the main difference between primary and secondary data lies in the exchange of hands.

Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
tutor
tutor
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Biology
tutor
tutor
Dr. Nazma Shaik
VTU
Chemistry
tutor
tutor
Gaurav Tiwari
APJAKTU
Physics
Get Started

1
Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Lavi Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lavi
Guest
Lavi

Which one of the sampling method is best to sample a population of infinite size

Stuck with a

Question Mark?

Have a doubt at 3 am? Our experts are available 24x7. Connect with a tutor instantly and get your concepts cleared in less than 3 steps.
toppr Code

chance to win a

study tour
to ISRO

Download the App

Watch lectures, practise questions and take tests on the go.

Get Question Papers of Last 10 Years

Which class are you in?
No thanks.