Different ways of gathering business information

There are many different ways a person can collect information, but in the end they are all split in to two different groups. The first is primary data which is familiar to a lot of people and the second secondary data which is also very familiar. Both these groups are very different to each other but in the 21st century world secondary data is commonly used as a way of gaining information for many people. So I will now split up the different forms of communication in to the two groups I mentioned earlier.

Primary- Also known as field research, you can find it in many forms such as: questionnaires, surveys and interviews

Secondary- also known as desk research you will find in such forms: internet, books/magazines, newspapers and reports

Primary research of course has its advantages such as it can help develop skills and the data can be tailored to your own needs. This data is raw data which is collected first hand. Also, the data can reflect public views and is reliable. But, it can take time to process and if second hand data is easier why not just use that?

Secondary data has already been collected so that’s what makes it easier to get hold of. This also means that you can get a variety of information in a short amount of time. But secondary data can have its drawbacks; you could spend a good chunk of your time on sites that are irrelevant to what you want to find out. Furthermore the information you may find may not be reliable, it could be someone’s opinion or someone may have got a few pieces of information and put them together. The reason I believe that secondary data is popular in this world is because of how easy it is to get, and with the fact that it is cheaper is also an advantage.

Internet research is what makes one group of research very popular, and I’m sure you can guess its secondary data. The reason this is secondary data is because, its simple the internet is a huge database of information that everyone has collected. The internet since it was created has always been said to be there forever. So that’s an advantage the data will always be there, it is easy to buy and it can be done in the comfort of your own homes. But as I mentioned in the last section it can be unreliable on a very large scale, as it is the internet the database for the hold world it is a prime location for the phishers and hackers, you could risk downloading viruses or if downloading a file or visiting a page you may have a key logger downloaded to your computer which may risk all passwords being stolen.

Verbal questioning/interviews this is where you would go out and have 1-1 conversations to collect your data or you may create a few questions to ask the public. As you can guess this is a primary form of research because you are collecting your data yourself, but some may argue that this is secondary information because you may use answers from previous interviews. The questions can be tailored to your own need and you may receive more information. But, the person may decide to lie and the information could take time to analyse.

Surveys/questionnaires, this is where you take a question in to your own hands to collect data and a questionnaire is where you create and give a sector of the public a set of questions to answer. This can be both primary and secondary data, you may be using answers from previous surveys/questionnaires which makes it secondary or you may create the questions your own which would therefore make it primary. But the amount of information you get may be limited because of the questions, the answers may be lost on the way and also some people may not answer truthfully. But you will receive relevant answers and the surveys/questionnaires can be filled out quickly.

Paper based reference materials these are things like leaflets, magazines, newspapers and more. They are secondary forms of data because they are collected and processed by different people. And as a result during this period the information can be edited on a large scale. The data can be relevant and it can be accessed rather quickly. However, the data can be expensive and may sometimes be unreliable.

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