5 convenient ways to collect primary data in statistics

Primary data are always collected from the source. It is collected either by the investigator himself or through his agents. There are different methods of collecting primary data. Each method has its relative merits and demerits. The investigator has to choose a particular method to collect the information. The choice to a large extent depends on the preliminaries to data collection some of the commonly used methods are discussed below.

1. Direct Personal observation:

This is a very general method of collecting primary data. Here the investigator directly contacts the informants, solicits their cooperation and enumerates the data. The information are collected by direct personal interviews.

The novelty of this method is its simplicity. It is neither difficult for the enumerator nor the informants. Because both are present at the spot of data collection.

2. Indirect Oral Interviews:

This is an indirect method of collecting primary data. Here information is not collected directly from the source but by interviewing persons closely related with the problem. This method is applied to apprehend culprits in case of theft, murder etc. The information’s relating to one’s personal life or which the informant hesitates to reveal are better collected by this method.

This method is time saving and involves relatively less cost. The accuracy of the information largely depends upon the integrity of the investigator. It is desirable that the investigator should be experienced and capable enough to inspire and create confidence in the informant to collect accurate data.

3. Mailed Questionnaire method:

This is a very commonly used method of collecting primary data. Here information are collected through a set of questionnaire. A questionnaire is a document prepared by the investigator containing a set of questions. These questions relate to the problem of enquiry directly or indirectly. Here first the questionnaires are mailed to the informants with a formal request to answer the question and send them back. For better response the investigator should bear the postal charges.

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The questionnaire method is very economical in terms of time, energy and money. The method is widely used when the scope of enquiry is large. Data collected by this method are not affected by the personal bias of the investigator.

4. Schedule Method:

In case the informants are largely uneducated and non-responsive data cannot be collected by the mailed questionnaire method. In such cases, schedule method is used to collect data. Here the questionnaires are sent through the enumerators to collect information’s. Enumerators are persons appointed by the investigator for the purpose. They directly meet the informants with the questionnaire.

5. from Local Agents:

Sometimes primary data are collected from local agents or correspondents. These agents are appointed by the sponsoring authorities. They are well conversant with the local conditions like language, communication, food habits, traditions etc. Being on the spot and well acquainted with the nature of the enquiry they are capable of furnishing reliable information.

John Johnson is experienced internet marketing consultant and writes articles on Data Collection Services, WordPress Developer, Web Data Scraping, Web Screen Scraping, Web Data Mining, Web Data Extraction etc.

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