Data means information. Everyone collects interprets and uses the information. Information may be through conversations, newspapers, televisions and radios. Data collection refers to gathering the information required for the study. The source may be primary or secondary and are expressed in a numeric form that helps in a calculation and simplifying the problems.
The following steps are to be considered for the collection of required information:
The collection of data is a primary need for statistical information. There are two types of data:
Data collected for the first time by an investor originally from its basic source for statistical inquiry are known as primary data. Primary data are the first-hand data and are original in character. They are like raw material to be used in statistical analysis. For example, Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of Nepal collects the data in a various field, such data are primary in nature.
Data that are collected by the investor himself for a specific inquiry or study are called primary data. It is original in character and generated by a survey conducted by a research institution or an organization. The various methods of collection of primary data are as follow:
This method is one of the best methods for collection of primary data where the investigator itself collects data through personal contact. He approaches the object, conducts the inquiry on the spot, collects information and does the needful, so as to get the complete information.
Under this method, the investigator contacts witnesses or neighbors of friends or some other third parties who are capable of supplying the necessary information. In the case of sensitive question such as wealth accumulation, prostitution, illegal activities, this method of indirect oral interviews is applied. For example, if a person is killed at a certain place, the persons living in neighborhood and witnesses are likely to give information on the cause of murder. But the investigator himself is not in touch with informants.
In this method, a list of questions relating field of inquiry is prepared and is sent to all the informants by post. The list of questions is technically called questionnaire. A covering letter accompanying the questionnaire explains the purpose of the investigation and the importance of correct information and requests the informants to fill the blank spaces provided and to return the form within specified time.
Under this method, the investigator appoints different local agents or correspondents in different places and complies the information sent by them. This method is cheap and appropriate for extensive investigations. This method is adopted in those cases where information is to be collected periodically from a wide area for a long time.\
Under this method, the interviewers take the schedules, meet the informants and fill up their replies. A schedule is filled by the interviewers in a face to face situation with the informants. This method is suitable for extensive surveys.
Data already collected and used by other and is still useful for other investigator are called secondary data. These type of data is not original. They are also called second-hand data. It is like finished good and it saves time and cost. Secondary data is cheap to obtain. Secondary data are to be carefully and critically examined before they are used. Large quantities of secondary data can be obtained through the internet. The following precautions should be adopted while using secondary data:
There are two sources of collecting secondary data:
1. Published Sources:
The various sources of published data are:
2. Unpublished Sources:
There are various sources of unpublished data such as records maintained by the various government and private offices, the study made by research institutions, scholars etc. Such sources can also be used where necessary.
Adhikari, Ramesh Prasad, Economics-XI, Asmita Pustak Prakashan, Kathmandu
Kanel, Navaraj et.al., Principles of Economics-XI, Buddha Prakashan, Kathmandu
Kharel, Khom Raj et.al., Economics In English Medium-XI, Sukunda Pustak Bhawan, Kathmandu
Methods of collecting Primary Data
Reliability of Secondary Data
Source of Secondary data