Which of the following is a disadvantage of primary data? Option (A) it is less accurate. Option (B) it is more accurate. Option (C) it requires more time and money. Or option (D) it saves time and money.
Let’s begin by recalling the definition of primary data. Primary data is new information that is collected and organized directly by the researcher. By comparing this to secondary data, we can find some advantages and disadvantages. Secondary data is public or existing information that is collected and organized by others.
Let’s assume that we have a scenario where we wish to determine the average income of people living in a city. There are lots of ways in which we could do this. A primary data source might be to survey the whole population of the city or a sample of people within it. A secondary data source might be to use available government data, for example, from a census.
There are a number of advantages of primary data sources, for example, that the information is up to date and relevant. Another advantage is that we can record it in a form that is useful for our study. For example, the government data in a census might have salaries or incomes recorded in classes of 20,000 dollars.
However, in this question we’re asked about the disadvantages of primary data. After all, primary data sounds so good, what might be the problem with it? Well, the big disadvantage of collecting primary data is that it requires more time and money. For example, if we are carrying out a survey, we would need to employ staff to carry out the survey. And also if we were collecting data using questionnaires by mail, then the printing and mailing costs can add up to be quite significant. We can give the answer then that it’s option (C) that gives us a disadvantage of primary data because it requires more time and money
Looking at the other answer options, primary data is usually more accurate, so answer option (A) would be incorrect. Option (B) is an advantage, so we couldn’t list that as a disadvantage. Option (D) gives the reason that it saves time and money, but we know that it requires more time and money. In fact, the option given in (D) is usually an advantage of using secondary data, which is not what we were asked for here.