Meaning and Sources of Secondary Data

What is Secondary Data?

Secondary data refers to data which is gathered by a secondary party, other than the user himself. Common sources of secondary data for social science include statements, data collected by government agencies, organizational documents and data that was basically collected for other research objectives. However, Primary data, by difference, is gathered by the investigator conducting the research.

Sources of Secondary Data

Secondary data are basically second-hand pieces of information. They are not gathered from the source as the primary data. To put it in other words, secondary data are those which are already collected. So they may be comparatively less reliable than the primary data. Secondary data is usually used when the time for the enquiry is compact and the exactness of the enquiry can be settled to an extent. However, secondary data can be gathered from different sources which can be categorised into 2 categories. Namely:

  1. Published sources
  2. Unpublished sources

1. Published Sources:

Secondary data is usually gathered from the published (printed) sources. A few major sources of published information are mentioned below:

  • Published articles of local bodies and Central and State Governments.
  • Statistical synopses, census records and other reports issued by different departments of the Government.
  • Official statements and publications of the foreign Governments.
  • Publications and Reports of chambers of commerce, financial institutions, trade associations, etc.,
  • Magazines, journals and periodicals.
  • Publications of Government organizations like the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO).
  • Reports presented by Research Scholars, Bureaus, Economists, etc.,

2. Unpublished Sources:

Statistical data can be obtained from several unpublished references. Some of the major unpublished sources from which secondary data can be gathered are:

  • The research works conducted by teachers, professors and professionals.
  • The records that are maintained by private and business enterprises.
  • Statistics maintained by different departments and agencies of the Central and State Governments, Undertakings, Corporations, etc.,

What is Secondary Data?

(A) Meaning of secondary data
  • Secondary data refers to those data which have already been collected by some other person or agency and used by us.
(B) Sources of secondary data can broadly be classified under two categories:
1. Published Sources
2. Unpublished Sources
(1)Published sources
  • Published sources mean data available in printed form. It includes:
  1. Magazines, Journals & Periodicals published by various Government, Semi-government and Private organisations. Like, data related to birth, death, education, etc. by the government at various levels; data regarding Prices, Production, etc. published by Economic Times, Financial Express, etc.
  2. Reports of various Committees or Commissions. Like, report of Pay Commission Report, Finance Commission Report, etc.
  3. Reports of International Agencies- Reports are regularly published by agencies like UNO, WHO, I.M.F., etc.
(2) Unpublished sources
  • All statistical material is not always published.
  • This category includes

i. Records maintained by various government and private offices.
ii. Research studies were done by scholar students or some institutions.
iii. Reports prepared by Private Investigation companies etc.
Such sources can also be used depending upon the need.

Q.1 _____________ sources means data available in printed form.
a. Published
b. Unpublished
c. Both (a) and (b)
d. None of the above
Q.2 Records maintained by various government and private offices are examples of________ source of collecting secondary data.
a. Published
b. Unpublished
c. Both (a) and (b)
d. None of the above
Q.3 Reports issued by agencies like- WHO, UNO, IMF etc. are examples of ________ source of collecting secondary data.
a. Published
b. Unpublished
c. Both (a) and (b)
d. None of the above
Answer key
1-a, 2-b, 3-a

The above-mentioned concept is for CBSE class 11 Statistics for Economics – Meaning and Sources of Secondary Data. For solutions and study materials for class 11 Statistics for Economics, visit BYJU’S or download the app for more information and the best learning experience.

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