What is the basic difference between primary and secondary data?

Primary & Secondary Data - What's The Difference?

Primary research entails the use of immediate data in determining the survival of the market. The popular ways to collect primary data consist of surveys, interviews and focus groups, which shows that direct relationship between potential customers and the companies. Whereas secondary research is a means to reprocess and reuse collected information as an indication for betterments of the service or product. Both primary and secondary data are useful for businesses but both may differ from each other in various aspects.

In secondary data, information relates to a past period. Hence, it lacks aptness and therefore, it has unsatisfactory value. Primary data is more accommodating as it shows latest information.

Secondary data is obtained from some other organization than the one instantaneously interested with current research project. Secondary data was collected and analyzed by the organization to convene the requirements of various research objectives. Primary data is accumulated by the researcher particularly to meet up the research objective of the subsisting project.

Secondary data though old may be the only possible source of the desired data on the subjects, which cannot have primary data at all. For example, survey reports or secret records already collected by a business group can offer information that cannot be obtained from original sources.

Firm in which secondary data are accumulated and delivered may not accommodate the exact needs and particular requirements of the current research study. Many a time, alteration or modifications to the exact needs of the investigator may not be sufficient. To that amount usefulness of secondary data will be lost. Primary data is completely tailor-made and there is no problem of adjustments.

Secondary data is available effortlessly, rapidly and inexpensively. Primary data takes a lot of time and the unit cost of such data is relatively high.