Posted by Anjali Kaur on Nov 13, 2020

Collection of Data

In statistics, we have 2 methods for the collection of data:

  1. Primary sources
  2. Secondary sources

 Let’s understand this topic in detail.

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Primary sources

Primary sources of data imply the collection of data from the source of its origin. It gives first-hand quantitative information about the statistical study.

Secondary sources

Secondary data sources imply collecting data from an agency, an institution, or a person who already has the information. It’s like getting second-hand information.

How the basic data is collected?


The mode of collecting primary data

The modes of data collection are divided into 3 main categories:

1. Personal Interviews

2. Information through questionnaires

3. Telephone interviews

Let’s discuss these.

1. Personal Interviews

Personal interviews can be conducted in 3 different ways:

a. Direct interviews

These interviews are conducted personally by the investigator (the one who is seeking information) from the respondent (the one who has the information). This type of data collection requires time, it is considered to be original, reliable, accurate data. But it is time-consuming, costly, and it is impossible to cover the whole population.

b. Indirect interviews

These interviews are conducted indirectly and not from the person who is involved. The people chosen for conducting the interview are the witnesses who possess some information.

For example, the working conditions in a company are collected from the employer, rather than the workers, is an indirect interview.

This method is suitable in case the concerned respondent can not be contacted, the experienced person should be assigned to be an investigator. Although the data is not always accurate, it can be biased and can leave doubts and confusion.

2. Information through questionnaire

Under this method, the investigator prepares questionnaires keeping in view the objectives of the inquiry. This can be done via:

a. Mailing method

In this method, questionnaires are mailed to the informants, a letter is attached to the questionnaire giving the purpose of the inquiry. It is also assured that the information will be kept secret. The informant notes the answers and returns the completed questionnaire to the investigator.

b. Enumerator method

Under this method, a questionnaire is prepared according to the purpose of the inquiry. The enumerator himself approaches the informants with the questionnaire. This questionnaire is filled by the enumerator themselves by putting questions which are also known as the schedules. So, the enumerator helps the investigator in collecting the data.

3. Telephone interviews

According to this method, the investigator seeks the desired information from the respondent over the telephone. This method is cheaper, quicker. But it involves personal bias and it has limited access.

I hope it was helpful, you can refer to more posts related to the statistics.

  1. Introduction to the statistics.
  2. Functions and importance of statistics.
  3. Measures of central tendency

Thank You!

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