Question Video: Understanding the Disadvantages of Secondary Data Mathematics

Which of the following is a disadvantage of secondary data? [A] It is more accurate. [B] It is less accurate. [C] It saves time and money. [D] It requires more time and money.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following is a disadvantage of secondary data? Option (A) it is more accurate. Option (B) it is less accurate. Option (C) it saves time and money. Or option (D) it requires more time and money.

Let’s begin by recalling that secondary data is public or existing information that is collected and organized by others. Some sources of secondary data include newspapers, research journals, or sources of government data, for example, from a census. Compared to primary data which involves collecting data directly from people, for example, through surveys or interviews, secondary data does not require as much time and money. So one of the advantages of secondary data is that it saves time and money.

However, in this question, we need to consider a disadvantage of secondary data. One of the main disadvantages of secondary data is the fact that we don’t have control over from whom the data is collected. We also don’t have control over what data is collected. And if the data is collected from a sample that contains different characteristics compared to our population of study, then some of the collected data will be irrelevant. Furthermore, if the data that has been collected is outdated, then it would also be irrelevant to our study.

Another disadvantage of secondary data is that it might be unreliable. Since we have no control over how secondary data is collected and organized, we can’t the fact that the data might not be an accurate representation of our population. So let’s have a look at the given answer options to see which one best sums up the disadvantages of secondary data. In this case, it would have to be answer option (B) that it is less accurate. The answer cannot be answer option (A) because secondary data is not more accurate.

Then answer option (C) says that it saves time and money. This is very true of secondary data, but this would be an advantage and not a disadvantage. Therefore, we can eliminate this answer option. Answer option (D), which says that it requires more time and money, is incorrect. In fact, answer option (D) would be a disadvantage of primary data. Therefore, we can give the answer that a disadvantage of secondary data is that it is less accurate.

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