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Difference Between Primary Research and Secondary Research

Primary Research vs Secondary Research

Primary research and secondary research are two terms that are to be understood differently due to the fact that they differ in their concepts and methods. One of the major differences between primary and secondary research is that primary research is conducted with the help of the primary sources available whereas secondary research is conducted on the basis of some data collected from someone who had got it from some source.

Let us take an example to point out the difference between primary research and secondary research. Interviewing someone is primary data and it would lead to conducting primary research because of the fact that you conduct the research from the source itself.

Imagine you have written a book based on the interview that you have conducted. If somebody uses the book to prepare or write a report then the data available to that person should be considered secondary in purpose and the research conducted by him based on the book can be called secondary research.

It is interesting to note that primary research is expensive to conduct since it involves primary sources. On the other hand secondary research is not expensive to conduct since it does not involve the primary sources.

Another important difference between primary and secondary research is that the time taken to conduct primary research is usually long when compared to the time taken to conduct a secondary research.

As a matter of fact the results found from the conduct of primary research are usually known to have better quality than those found from the conduct of the secondary research. This is probably one of the reasons why people would like to depend more on the findings of a primary research rather than on the results of a secondary research.

Primary research is also usually detailed and elaborate since it is supposed to be both qualitative and quantitative in purpose. On the other hand the data pertaining to secondary research is usually not very much detailed and elaborate since it involves the indirect sources.

Finally it is true that secondary research is normally presented with varied data than primary research. Primary research is done with lot of hard work and dedication. On the other hand secondary research is presented normally with a number of data and sources. These sources that are available already include books, periodicals published by governmental organizations, statistical data, annual reports, case studies and the like.


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