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How to Collect Primary Data

Primary data usually refers to what is gathered through the first-hand experience of a researcher. It can be quite helpful for investigators, as it is customised to a specific study and is collected to serve a specific purpose. However, many researchers may not know how to collect primary data in the best way and through apt tools. Collecting primary data is surely a task of responsibility, as the entire concern of the accuracy and reliability of data falls upon a researcher. Primary research is done when researchers need original data for their studies.

A lot of planning and resources go into the conduction of primary research. You also have to take care of various ethical considerations while conducting such a study. Still, primary data lets a researcher have greater control over collecting information in a certain way. Additionally, a major benefit in the collection of primary data is that it becomes the own property of that researcher who collects it, and it is up to him/her to share it or not with others. You can collect primary research data through the following methods:

  • Direct personal observation wherein the information is collected from the respondents through direct personal interviews.
  • Mailed questionnaire method wherein the questionnaires are mailed to the respondents to get their answers.
  • Indirect oral interviews wherein the information is not retrieved directly from the respondents but from those individuals who are related to them or to any particular situation.
  • Local agents’ method wherein local agents, who are well versed with the local area, are employed.
  • Experiments wherein the groups of subjects are tested on varied factors under certain lab conditions.

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Primary data is collected through a variety of methods like an interview, survey, observation, or analysis. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. The method you choose for carrying out your research study has to be chosen with a lot of care, as your entire results will depend upon it. If you are unsure of how to collect primary data for your research, then it is always better to take help from consultants working in the same field for several years. You may write to us for support at


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