07-Unit7 - Research Methodology Unit 7 Unit 7 Sources of...

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Unformatted text preview: Research Methodology Unit 7 Unit 7 Sources of Data Structure 7.1 Meaning and importance of data Objectives 7.2 Primary sources of data 7.2.1 7.2.2 Disadvantages of primary data 7.2.3 7.3 Advantages and disadvantages of primary data Methods of collecting primary data Secondary sources of data 7.3.1 Features of secondary data 7.3.2 Use of Secondary data 7.4 Advantages of secondary data 7.5 Disadvantages of secondary data 7.6 Evaluation and of secondary data Self Assessment Questions 7.7 Summary 7.8 Terminal questions 7.9 Answers to SAQs and TQs 7.1 Meaning and Importance of Data The search for answers to research questions is called collection of data. Data are facts, and other relevant materials, past and present, serving as bases for study and analyses. The data needed for a social science research may be broadly classified into (a) Data pertaining to human beings, (b) Data relating to organization and (c) Data pertaining to territorial areas. Objectives After studying this lesson you should be able to understand: Primary sources of data Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 87 Research Methodology Advantages and disadvantages of primary data Disadvantages of primary data Methods of collecting primary data Secondary sources of data Features of secondary data Use of Secondary data Advantages of secondary data Disadvantages of secondary data Unit 7 Evaluation and of secondary data Personal data or data related to human beings consist of: (1) Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of individuals: Age, sex, race, social class, religion, marital status, education, occupation income, family size, location of the household life style etc. (2) Behavioral variables: Attitudes, opinions, awareness, knowledge, practice, intentions, etc. (3) Organizational data consist of data relating to an organizations origin, ownership, objectives, resources, functions, performance and growth. (4) Territorial data are related to geo-physical characteristics, resource endowment, population, occupational pattern infrastructure degree of development, etc. of spatial divisions like villages, cities, talluks, districts, state and the nation. The data serve as the bases or raw materials for analysis. Without an analysis of factual data, no specific inferences can be drawn on the questions under study. Inferences based on imagination or guess work cannot provide correct answers to research questions. The relevance, adequacy and reliability of data determine the quality of the findings of a study. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 88 Research Methodology Unit 7 Data form the basis for testing the hypothesis formulated in a study. Data also provide the facts and figures required for constructing measurement scales and tables, which are analyzed with statistical techniques. Inferences on the results of statistical analysis and tests of significance provide the answers to research questions. Thus, the scientific process of measurements, analysis, testing and inferences depends on the availability of relevant data and their accuracy. Hence, the importance of data for any research studies. The sources of data may be classified into (a) primary sources and (b) secondary sources. 7.2 Primary Sources of Data Primary sources are original sources from which the researcher directly collects data that have not been previously collected e.g.., collection of data directly by the researcher on brand awareness, brand preference, brand loyalty and other aspects of consumer behaviour from a sample of consumers by interviewing them,. Primary data are first hand information collected through various methods such as observation, interviewing, mailing etc. 7.2.1 Advantage of Primary Data It is original source of data It is possible to capture the changes occurring in the course of time. It flexible to the advantage of researcher. Extensive research study is based of primary data 7.2.2 Disadvantage of Primary Data 1. Primary data is expensive to obtain 2. It is time consuming 3. It requires extensive research personnel who are skilled. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 89 Research Methodology Unit 7 4. It is difficult to administer. 7.2.3 Methods of Collecting Primary Data Primary data are directly collected by the researcher from their original sources. In this case, the researcher can collect the required date precisely according to his research needs, he can collect them when he wants them and in the form he needs them. But the collection of primary data is costly and time consuming. Yet, for several types of social science research required data are not available from secondary sources and they have to be directly gathered from the primary sources. In such cases where the available data are inappropriate, inadequate or obsolete, primary data have to be gathered. They include: socio economic surveys, social anthropological studies of rural communities and tribal communities, sociological studies of social problems and social institutions. Marketing research, leadership studies, opinion polls, attitudinal surveys, readership, radio listening and T.V. viewing surveys, knowledge-awareness practice (KAP) studies, farm managements studies, business management studies etc. There are various methods of data collection. A ‘Method’ is different from a ‘Tool’ while a method refers to the way or mode of gathering data, a tool is an instruments used for the method. For example, a schedule is used for interviewing. The important methods are (a) observation, (b) interviewing, (c) mail survey, (d) experimentation, (e) simulation and (f) projective technique. Each of these methods is discussed in detail in the subsequent sections in the later chapters. 7.3 Secondary Sources of Data These are sources containing data which have been collected and compiled for another purpose. The secondary sources consists of readily compendia Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 90 Research Methodology Unit 7 and already compiled statistical statements and reports whose data may be used by researchers for their studies e.g., census reports , annual reports and financial statements of companies, Statistical statement, Reports of Government Departments, Annual reports of currency and finance published by the Reserve Bank of India, Statistical statements relating to Cooperatives and Regional Banks, published by the NABARD, Reports of the National sample survey Organization, Reports of trade associations, publications of international organizations such as UNO, IMF, World Bank, ILO, WHO, etc., Trade and Financial journals newspapers etc. Secondary sources consist of not only published records and reports, but also unpublished records. The latter category includes various records and registers maintained by the firms and organizations, e.g., accounting and financial records, personnel records, register of members, minutes of meetings, inventory records etc. 7.3.1 Features of Secondary Sources Though secondary sources are diverse and consist of all sorts of materials, they have certain common characteristics. First, they are readymade and readily available, and do not require the trouble of constructing tools and administering them. Second, they consist of data which a researcher has no original control over collection and classification. Both the form and the content of secondary sources are shaped by others. Clearly, this is a feature which can limit the research value of secondary sources. Finally, secondary sources are not limited in time and space. That is, the researcher using them need not have been present when and where they were gathered. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 91 Research Methodology Unit 7 7.3.2 Use of Secondary Data The second data may be used in three ways by a researcher. First, some specific information from secondary sources may be used for reference purpose. For example, the general statistical information in the number of co-operative credit societies in the country, their coverage of villages, their capital structure, volume of business etc., may be taken from published reports and quoted as background information in a study on the evaluation of performance of cooperative credit societies in a selected district/state. Second, secondary data may be used as bench marks against which the findings of research may be tested, e.g., the findings of a local or regional survey may be compared with the national averages; the performance indicators of a particular bank may be tested against the corresponding indicators of the banking industry as a whole; and so on. Finally, secondary data may be used as the sole source of information for a research project. Such studies as securities Market Behaviour, Financial Analysis of companies, Trade in credit allocation in commercial banks, sociological studies on crimes, historical studies, and the like, depend primarily on secondary data. Year books, statistical reports of government departments, report of public organizations of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Censes Reports etc, serve as major data sources for such research studies. 7.4 Advantages of Secondary Data Secondary sources have some advantages: 1. Secondary data, if available can be secured quickly and cheaply. Once their source of documents and reports are located, collection of data is just matter of desk work. Even the tediousness of copying the data from the source can now be avoided, thanks to Xeroxing facilities. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 92 Research Methodology Unit 7 2. Wider geographical area and longer reference period may be covered without much cost. Thus, the use of secondary data extends the researcher’s space and time reach. 3. The use of secondary data broadens the data base from which scientific generalizations can be made. 4. Environmental and cultural settings are required for the study. 5. The use of secondary data enables a researcher to verify the findings bases on primary data. It readily meets the need for additional empirical support. The researcher need not wait the time when additional primary data can be collected. 7.5 Disadvantages of Secondary Data The use of a secondary data has its own limitations. 1. The most important limitation is the available data may not meet our specific needs. The definitions adopted by those who collected those data may be different; units of measure may not match; and time periods may also be different. 2. The available data may not be as accurate as desired. To assess their accuracy we need to know how the data were collected. 3. The secondary data are not up-to-date and become obsolete when they appear in print, because of time lag in producing them. For example, population census data are published tow or three years later after compilation, and no new figures will be available for another ten years. 4. Finally, information about the whereabouts of sources may not be available to all social scientists. Even if the location of the source is known, the accessibility depends primarily on proximity. For example, most of the unpublished official records and compilations are located in the capital city, and they are not within the easy reach of researchers based in far off places. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 93 Research Methodology Unit 7 7.6 Evaluation of Secondary Data When a researcher wants to use secondary data for his research, he should evaluate them before deciding to use them. 1. Data Pertinence The first consideration in evaluation is to examine the pertinence of the available secondary data to the research problem under study. The following questions should be considered. What are the definitions and classifications employed? Are they consistent ? What are the measurements of variables used? What is the degree to which they conform to the requirements of our research? What is the coverage of the secondary data in terms of topic and time? Does this coverage fit the needs of our research? On the basis of above consideration, the pertinence of the secondary data to the research on hand should be determined, as a researcher who is imaginative and flexible may be able to redefine his research problem so as to make use of otherwise unusable available data. 2. Data Quality If the researcher is convinced about the available secondary data for his needs, the next step is to examine the quality of the data. The quality of data refers to their accuracy, reliability and completeness. The assurance and reliability of the available secondary data depends on the organization which collected them and the purpose for which they were collected. What is the authority and prestige of the organization? Is it well recognized? Is it noted for reliability? It is capable of collecting reliable data? Does it use trained and well qualified investigators? The answers to these questions determine the degree of confidence we can have in the data and their accuracy. It is important to go to the original source of the secondary data rather than to Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 94 Research Methodology Unit 7 use an immediate source which has quoted from the original. Then only, the researcher can review the cautionary ands other comments that were made in the original source. 3. Data Completeness The completeness refers to the actual coverage of the published data. This depends on the methodology and sampling design adopted by the original organization. Is the methodology sound? Is the sample size small or large? Is the sampling method appropriate? Answers to these questions may indicate the appropriateness and adequacy of the data for the problem under study. The question of possible bias should also be examined. Whether the purpose for which the original organization collected the data had a particular orientation? Has the study been made to promote the organization’s own interest? How the study was conducted? These are important clues. The researcher must be on guard when the source does not report the methodology and sampling design. Then it is not possible to determine the adequacy of the secondary data for the researcher’s study. Self Assessment Questions State whether following statements are true or false. 1. The sources of data may be classified into (a) primary sources and (b) secondary sources. 2. Primary data are first hand information collected through various methods such as observation, interviewing, mailing etc. 3. The secondary sources consist of readily compendia and already complied statistical statements and reports. 4. The important methods are observation, (b) interviewing, (c) mail survey, (d) experimentation, (e) simulation and projective technique. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 95 Research Methodology Unit 7 7.7 Summary Data are facts and other relevant materials, past and present, serving as bases for study and analyses. The data needed for a social science research may be broadly classified into (a) Data pertaining to human beings, (b) Data relating to organization and (c) Data pertaining to territorial areas. Personal data or data related to human beings consists of: Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of individuals: Age, sex, race, social class, religion, martial status, education, occupation income, family size, location of the household life style etc. Behavioural variables: Attitudes, opinions, awareness, knowledge, practice, intentions, etc. Organizational data consist of data relating to an organizations origin, ownership, objectives, resources, functions, performance and growth. Territorial data are related to geophysical characteristics, resource endowment, population, occupational pattern infrastructure degree of development, etc. of spatial divisions like villages, cities, taluks, districts, state and the nation. Data form the basis for testing the hypothesis formulated in a study. Data also provide the facts and figures required for constructing measurement scales and tables. The sources of data may be classified into (a) primary sources and (b) secondary sources. Primary data are first hand information collected through various methods such as observation, interviewing, mailing etc. The secondary sources consist of readily compendia and already complied statistical statements and reports. Finally secondary sources are not limited in time and space. That is, the researcher using them need not have been present when and where they were gathered. Secondary data, if available can be secured quickly and cheaply. Wider geographical area and longer reference period may be covered without much cost. Thus, the use of secondary data extends the researcher’s space and time reach. The use of secondary data broadens Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 96 Research Methodology Unit 7 the data base from which scientific generalizations can be made. The use of a secondary data has its own limitations. The most important limitation is the available data may not meet our specific needs. The secondary data are not up-to-date and become obsolete when they appear in print, because of time lag in producing them. Primary data are directly collected by the researcher from their original sources. There are various methods of data collection. A ‘Method’ is different from a ‘Tool’ while a method refers to the way or mode of gathering data, a tool is an instruments used for the method. For example, a schedule is used for interviewing. The important methods are (a) observation, (b) interviewing, (c) mail survey, (d) experimentation, (e) simulation and projective technique. 7.8 Terminal Questions 1. What are the types of data? 2. What are the primary sources of data? 3. What are the sources of secondary sources? 4. How is secondary data useful to researcher? 5. What are the advantages of secondary data? 6. Describe the disadvantages of secondary data. 7. What are the criteria used for evaluation of secondary data? 7.9 Answers to SAQs and TQs SAQs 1. True 2. True 3. True 4. True Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 97 Research Methodology Unit 7 TQs 1. Section 7.0 2. Section 7.1. 3. Section 7.4. 4. Section 7.4.2. 5. Section 7.5 6. Section 7.6 7. Section 7.6. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 98 ...
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