Primary and Secondary Data

Primary data – information observed or collected directly from first-hand experience. Data that has been collected by the researcher for the study currently being undertaken, specifically relating to the aims and/or hypothesis of the study. Examples of primary data are the results of an experiment, answers from a questionnaire etc.


(+) Researcher has control over the data, data collection can be designed specifically to the aim.

(-) Collecting primary data is lengthy and expensive.


Secondary data – information that was collected for a purpose other than the current one. Examples of secondary data are government statistics, results from another experiment by the same or different researcher etc.


(+) Cheap to use, no need to set up data collection.

(-)Data might not exactly fit the needs of the study.



A statistical technique for combining the findings of several studies of a certain research area. No additional research is carried out, data from previously conducted research is collected and analysed.