Primary Data Collection:

After the investigator is convinced that the advantage from primary data outweighs the effort and time, money cost, we can go in for this.

We can use any of the following methods to collect primary data:

  • Direct Personal Investigation
  • Indirect Oral Investigation
  • Use of Local Reports
  • Questionnaire method

Direct Personal Investigation

Here the investigator gathers information personally from the respondents. He/she meets them personally to gather information. This method needs much from the investigator such as:

  • He/she should be well-mannered, unbiased and tactful.
  • He/she should know the local surroundings, customs and traditions 
  • He/she should be intelligent possessing good observation skill.
  • He/she should use easy, simple, and meaning questions to extract information.

This technique is suitable only for intensive research. It is a costly method in terms of money, effort and time. Further, the own bias of the investigator cannot be ruled out and it can do a lot of damage to the investigation. 

Indirect Oral Investigation Method

This technique is generally used when the respondents are unwilling to part with the information due to several reasons. Here, the information is collected from a witness or from a third party who are directly or indirectly connected to the problem and have sufficient knowledge. The person(s) who is/are nominated as informants must possess the following abilities:

  • They should have full knowledge about the problem.
  • They must be willing to reveal it faithfully and honestly.
  • They should not be biased and prejudiced.
  • They must can express themselves to the true spirit of the inquiry.

Questionnaire Method

It is the most significant and systematic method of collecting primary data, especially when the investigation is quite extensive. It includes preparation of a list of questions related to the investigation and presenting them in the form of a booklet, often called a questionnaire. The questionnaire is separated into two parts:

  • General introductory part which contains questions regarding the identity of the respondent and contains information such as name, address, qualification, telephone number, profession, etc.
  • Main question part containing questions connected with the investigation. These questions differ from investigation to investigation. Preparation of the questionnaire is a highly-specialized work and is perfected with experience. Therefore, some experienced persons should be associated with it.


Secondary data collection:

Secondary data are the statistics of other people's, where other people includes governments at all levels, international bodies or institutions like IBRD, IMF, etc., or other countries, private and government research organisations, research scholars of repute, State bank of Pakistan and other banks, etc.

Generally speaking, We can divide the sources of secondary data into two categories: published sources and unpublished sources.

Published Sources:

  • Official publications of foreign countries.
  • Official publications of the government - Central, State, Union
  • Official publications of international bodies like UNESCO, IMF, WHO, etc.
  • Newspapers and Journals of repute, both local and international.
  • Official publications of Trade Unions, Stock Exchange, Chambers of Commerce, etc.
  • Reports submitted by research scholars, reputed economists, universities, commissions of inquiry, if made public.

Un-published Sources:

  • Research workers' findings.
  • Unpublished findings of certain inquiry committees.
  • Unpublished material found with Labour Organizations, Trade Associations, and Chambers of Commerce.

business research methods

August 22, 2017