Question Video: Determining Which Is Not a Source of Secondary Data Mathematics

Which of the following is not a source of secondary data? [A] Research journals and newspapers [B] Internet [C] Teaching and research organizations [D] Questionnaires [E] Government organizations

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Video Transcript

Which of the following is not a source of secondary data? Option (A) research journals and newspapers, option (B) Internet, option (C) teaching and research organizations, option (D) questionnaires, or option (E) government organizations.

Let’s begin by recalling that secondary data is public or existing information that’s collected and organized by others. The other type of data is primary data, which is new information collected and organized by the researcher. One way of thinking through this problem is by considering different scenarios of data collection. Here we have a researcher who’s collecting information from a group of people that they want to study. This could be through interviews, questionnaires, or even focus groups. At this point, what this researcher has is primary data.

When they analyze their data, they may produce some sort of report or journal, for example, including it in a newspaper or a website. Another researcher, who may well be researching something else, who’s looking at these different reports would be looking at secondary data. So, when we consider the data types in statements (A), (B), (C), and (E), these are all types of secondary data. In other words, we’re getting our information from this type of information, the reports and papers and things, and not from the people who were originally asked.

If we look at statement (D), however, questionnaires are used by researchers to collect the data directly. Since the use of questionnaires leads to new information collected and organized by the researcher, then they are a source of primary data. Therefore, the sources in (A), (B), (C), and (E) are all sources of secondary data. So the one which is not a source of secondary data is (D), questionnaires. This is a source of primary data.

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