Data: Collection of factual information about something is called data. Data may be collected through different methods and from different sources. Organizations collects data for decision making. For example they collect data about requirement of a product in the market. Based on the data organizational decision makers recommend that how much production is needed. Companies may collect data about quality of their services. Researchers and statisticians collects data to infer results and support or reject the proposed theory through hypothesis testing. Countries or states collects of general public through census, to draw conclusions, decision making, and for future planning. Project managers collects data about the project to allocate resources. Various data analysis tools are available in market for example SPSS, AMOS, EXCEL etc. Good decision making depends upon purity and relevancy of data of the problem under consideration. So there is a need to collect relevant data correctly and further use appropriate tools for analysis to come up with conclusions.
There are two types of data
- Primary Data
- Secondary Data
Primary Data– Data collected by the researcher directly for the purpose of answering the research questions. sources of primary data are interviews and questionnaires etc.
Secondary Data: Existing data or data collected in the past for another purpose that you use to answer your research questions. sources of secondary data are documents,literature, census results etc.
Advantages of Primary Data
- Required data elements are collected
- Data interpretation is lot better
- Better Data quality
- Less number of missing values
- Relevancy of data is high
- Current/updated data collection
Advantages of Secondary Data
- Less expensive as previously collected data is used
- Less time required/consumed for data collection
- Availability of Wide variety of data
- Secondary data provides basis for comparison for the data that is collected by the researcher i.e. primary data.
For step by guideline about how to perform data analysis download the following;