Question Video: Determining Whether Data Is Primary or Secondary Mathematics

A student plans to collect data about bird migration by sitting on a rooftop, counting the number of birds in flocks, and obtaining the direction of flying. Would this result in primary or secondary data?

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Video Transcript

A student plans to collect data about bird migration by sitting on a rooftop counting the number of birds in flocks and obtaining the direction of flying. Would this result in primary or secondary data?

Let’s begin by recalling the definitions of primary and secondary data. 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.

In this scenario, the student is gathering data themselves by counting the birds and observing their flight direction. This is an example of primary data. Even if the student asked their friends to help them by doing the same, they would still be organizing it themselves and it would still be primary data. An example of a secondary data source in this scenario could include looking at websites on birds to gather data, biology magazines, or textbooks. But here because the student is collecting the data themselves, we can give the answer that this is primary data.

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