Question Video: Determining Whether Data Is Primary or Secondary Mathematics

A student wants to know her community’s favorite type of music. She does so by collecting data from her school and asking people about their favorite type of music. Is she collecting primary or secondary data?

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Video Transcript

A student wants to know her community’s favorite type of music. She does so by collecting data from her school and asking people about their favorite type of music. Is she collecting primary or secondary data?

We can define the two types of data of primary and secondary data as follows. Primary data is new information that is collected and organized directly by the researcher. Secondary data is public or existing information that is collected and organized by others. Some different ways in which we can gather primary data include by filling out surveys, questionnaires, or by interviewing people. In this scenario, the student is asking people about their favorite type of music. This would be gathering primary data.

Now, it might be slightly ambiguous or confusing that the student is collecting data from her school, but we could assume that the school has not already collated the information about favorite music. Therefore, this data could simply include names, classes, or even addresses of pupils who she can direct her questions to. Overall, however, as the student is directly involved in collecting and organizing the data by asking people about their favorite music, we can give the answer that this is primary data.