Primary and Secondary Research

Primary and Secondary Research
Primary and Secondary Research

There are two fundamental types of research, i.e., primary and secondary. The note elaborates on the distinction between primary and secondary research and provides insight into when we use the former and the latter.

Primary Research

The objective of primary research is to suit unique and specialized requirements. Primary research yields several distinct findings. Primary research is when we make use of the very first data collected. Stated simply, it is brand new information.

Primary research is undertaken to explore basic hypotheses and questions. As part of primary research, one may use several methods, such as focus groups, questionnaires, interviews, and observations. For instance, a focus group might be given questions you helped create so that the information gathered is relevant to your requirements. One can also use survey points for creating surveys to conduct primary research. In addition, one may utilize statistical models to generate a sample group that reflects your target consumers, making the results more relevant to your business requirements.

Secondary Research

When doing secondary research, you adapt previous studies’ findings to your specific scenario. These studies are often free or only cost a small amount of money, and they are easy to find on the Internet or in marketing magazines. The disadvantage is that the answers are generic, and you may not know all the elements involved. Also, the results may be more extensive than what your company specializes in, making business decisions hard.

When doing secondary research, we look at the findings obtained by previous researchers. We sometimes refer to this as a literature study since the results of this research are frequently published in scientific journals and books. Desk research gets its name because you will most likely be reading these articles while seated at a desk. Said, secondary research is an in-depth analysis of previously gathered information.

Which Kind of Research Should One Conduct?

When to conduct primary or secondary research? The answer depends on the objective. For many companies, secondary research is the optimal starting point. To begin, one may usually investigate the current body of research. One may systematically collect all of this secondary data, which is essentially the research findings of others, and analyze these results. Further, in some circumstances, if time, money, or practicality constraints require us to restrict ourselves to a literature study, one may have to suffice with secondary research. But most of the time, if one wants to comprehend anything and go further into the matter, one may wish to study a topic more thoroughly and in greater depth through primary research.

Furthermore, as a result of my desk research, one may come up with several research hypotheses, which one will now attempt to confirm or reject using first-hand evidence. If the conclusions of the study one discovers in the literature are trustworthy, then one should be able to duplicate them. In addition to verifying the accuracy of the already available data, primary research naturally allows us to significantly broaden our understanding by introducing entirely new research variables. This, in turn, enables us to gain fresh perspectives on connections that have not been investigated before. In the case of primary research, one may determine your audience and market by examining area statistics, community surveys, and other readily accessible information. Once you have limited your target audience, you may do primary market research at a cheaper expense, such as by sending out surveys or questionnaires. 

Secondary research provides a solid framework, while primary research identifies unique needs. Further, the existing analysis may have been carried out in other contexts or geographies, and one might be curious to assess whether or not the findings will be the same for my landscape. In essence, a survey of the current body of literature might leave us with many questions and points that we wish to examine further or investigate in more depth. Consequently, at this point, I must carry out my primary research.

Sequentially, this means that we usually begin with secondary research. A comprehensive analysis of the data that is currently available will enable us to generate hypotheses and research questions that are more precise. Many questions have already been posted and answered by academics from all around the globe. Our capacity to locate and use previously conducted research has been significantly bolstered by the development of internet search engines, allowing us to make sense of the already existing wealth of data and information. After reviewing the previously acquired knowledge, we put our hypotheses to the test and then try to build upon that foundation by performing our primary research, provided that we can devote the necessary resources and have sufficient spare time.

Kultar Singh – Chief Executive Officer, Sambodhi

Kultar Singh