What are different methods of collecting primary data?

Data Collection Techniques and its Benefits:

While performing any work of research, be it thesis writing or academic essay writing, we always need to collect some data or information irrespective of the field we are concerned with. The purpose of collecting data is to reach a definite decision or analysis. Therefore, the process of data collection can be categorized as primary and secondary data collection technique. In this article, we are going to describe about the various means of collecting primary data to conduct any work of research.

What does Primary Data collection means?

Primary Data, commonly referred as the Field Research is the data which is collected by the user for the 1st time and therefore it is always in its rudimentary form. Generally, these types of data have not undergone any structural or statistical alteration. This method generates the most authentic type of data, and itproduces result, which tallies with the product of service offered by your organization. In addition, the data originatedis unbiased, relevant and provides current information.

Therefore, one should be aware of the above-mentioned points in order to generate a perfect array or primary data, which account for their research work.

The Appropriate methods for Primary Data Collection:

Many techniques are employed when it comes to collection of primary data. Some of them are enumerated in details below:

  • Personal Investigation – This is the rudimentary method for collection of data. An observer has to directly observe the person, contact the informant, solicit for necessary information and note down the data. There are two techniques for collecting the data – be an observer and collect without the informant’s knowledge, or else confront the informant and take down the necessary information. This provides the most authentic and accurate data, without and judgmental biasing, provided that the investigator is himself unbiased and honest while noting down the data. This method is moderately expensive and time-consuming. So it offers meager scope when it comes in data collection.
  • Use of Local Sources – Many observers rely on this method for collecting data, when they cannot rely solely on the informant’s information. This is performed with the aid of local correspondents who questions some local sources and determines the accurate necessary data.However, this method is economical and expeditious and information can be gathered from a wide range of geographical region. This technique is generally used by governments agencies, news reporters etc.
  • Oral Interviews – This technique involves in accumulation of data indirectly. The informant is not questioned here, rather persons closely associated with the interviewee is questioned. This method is quite applicable in case of burglary where plagiarism of information is concerned. This approach possesses a similarity with cross-examination, as it involves numerous persons as interviewee. This method is cheap and time-saving and it solely depends upon the capability and integrity of the interviewer.
  • Collection through Questionnaires – This is widely used approach for collection of primary data. This reaching instrument is used by formulating a series of questions about the concerned field, and then spreading the questions to the public to obtain the answers. This method is quite economical compared to other methods, but it is time-consuming. However, it possesses one major drawback, as many do not return the essential feedback to the questionnaires within relevant time. Special correspondents are hired to obtain the quality responses from the public. The questionnaires series should be made as lucid as possible, allowing more people to participate. This is essential in case of thesis writing, where the researcher can easily gather data from different sources for formulating the paperwork.
  • Performing Experimentations – This is the most convenient approach for collection of data. It offers accurate and reliably correct elements of information. This approach is employed in the field of work like physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, mathematics. Experiments consist of evaluating a series of questions in order to reach the query. The external factors can be controlled by the experimenter so as to get the accurate results. Experiments can be conducted in laboratories or as field work, after which the observations can be analyzed to obtain the interference. This system provides authentic, unbiased results. However, the approach is time-consuming and expensive. Research paper writing is highly benefitted by this approach.
  • Formulating results from Survey – Survey works is another crucial means for collection of data. Survey work provides detailed information regarding any field of interest. Marketing sectors are highly benefitted from survey work where they aim to acquire knowledge regarding attitude, preference and buyers feedback.  This method can provide an in-depth study of the drawbacks and also paves the way to improvise new methods to overcome them. However, survey work cannot ensure the satisfactory data, as many people do not have willingness on their part to furnish with truthful information to the surveyors.
  • Maintain a registered record – This is a hectic approach of data collection, but it goes in a long way for preserving the information over period of time. Municipal committees retain the list of deaths and births in a particular locality, thereby helps in providing authentic data in the call of need. This is a very inexpensive means of collecting data.

The Pros and Cons of acquiring Primary Data:

Collection of primary data can be a long-drawn-out process as well as expensive, but it provides a clear-cut authentic results. This is why it is preferred over secondary approach of data collection. The following advantages will clarify its importance, which are enlisted as follows:

  • Proper Targets – The concerned target of works are approached upon by the researchers to ensure the collection of unbiased, authentic data. Since there is a clean line of interaction between the interviewers and informant, so tampering of data is reduced.
  • Proper Interpretation – Only the essential data is collected with proper interpretation, which is subjected to the specified target, and the redundant data is discarded.
  • Proper Data collection – A decent collection of data is donewithout providing obsolete information.

However, certain disadvantages do possess their threats to this approach. Some of them are listed as:

  • Expensive – Certain methods like experimentations and personal interviews are quite expensive and thus, produce a hindrance to collection of data.
  • Time Consuming – Another major hindrance is requirement of time, in case of experiments for thesis writing therefore produces a drawback to collection.
  • Inaccuracy – In case of questionnaires, there are lack of appropriate feedback, which makes the interviewer to lose enthusiasm of their work. Inadequacy of feedback offers restrain to data collection.

Information is the fundamental block for research. Therefore, the investigator should make a wise, rational choice when it comes to collecting primary data so as offer authentic information to the researchers.