What Precautions Should Be Taken before Using Secondary Data?

Meaning of Secondary Data

Secondary data refers to the data that is gathered by a secondary party (other than the user). Common sources of secondary data for social sciences include statements, data collected by government agencies, organisational documents, and the data that was collected for other research objectives. However, primary data, by difference, is gathered by the investigator conducting the research.

Precautions to be Taken while Using Secondary Data

The investigator must take precautions before using secondary data. In this juncture, the following precautions should be taken into consideration.

  1. Suitable purpose of investigation
  2. Inadequate data
  3. Definition of units
  4. Degree of accuracy
  5. Time and condition of collection of facts
  6. Homogeneous conditions
  7. Comparison

What Precautions Should Be taken before Using Secondary Data?

The following are the main precautions that should be taken before using secondary data.
(1) Reliable agency         We must ensure the agency that has published the data should be reliable.
(2) Suitability for the purpose of an enquiry         The Investigator must ensure that the data is suitable for the purpose of the present enquiry.

        The suitability of the data is determined by investigating the nature, objectives, time of collection, etc. of the secondary data.

(3) Adequacy and accuracy to avoid the impact of bias         It is necessary to use adequate data to avoid biases and prejudices leading to incorrect conclusions.
(4) Method of collecting the data used         The investigator should also ascertain as to what method was used in collecting the data.

        Sampling methods may be biased depending upon the mode of selection of samples.

        All these should be ascertained before making use of the secondary data.


Q.1 Which of the following are the precautions that should be taken before using secondary data?
a. The data must be from a reliable agency.

b. The data must be suitable for the purpose of enquiry.

c. The data must be adequate.

d. All of the above

Q.2 The __________ method of collecting data may be biased, depending upon the mode of selection of samples.
a. Census

b. Sampling

c. Both (a) and (b)

d. None of the above

Q.3 __________ must be ensured to reduce the impact of businesses that may lead to incorrect conclusions.
a. Adequacy of data

b. Accuracy of data

c. Both (a) and (b)

d. None of the above


1-d, 2-b, 3-c

 The above-mentioned concept is for CBSE Class 11 Statistics for Economics – Precautions to be taken while using Secondary Data. For solutions and class 11 statistics for economics syllabus, visit BYJU’S or download the app for best learning experiences.


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