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Primary and Secondary Research

The Ultimate Differentiating Guide for Primary and Secondary Research

Research is a scientific investigation performed by scientific trained observers step by step in a completely scientific manner. Research is the systematic investigation or experiment about something relevant which is worth study. For any kind of research, it is necessary to follow the scientific method of observation. It requires a lot of skills and efforts. In other words, research is the process where you collect data, fact and figures, observe it and try to find something new from it or study and analysed that data and then draw a conclusion with an innovative idea or discovery. There are two types of research that is:

  • Primary Research
  • Secondary Research

When you began any systematic or scientific investigation, the first thing you need is data. Now it depends upon research whether he or she collects the data and information by themselves or using the data and information already available. This selection or choice of data and information distinguish primary data from secondary data.

Primary Research

In the primary research, the researcher decided and preferred to collect fresh data. In the primary research, the researcher itself is involved in the data collecting process. New and fresh data is collected on the new topic. The researcher did not use and rely on the data which is already collected. They collect the new and fresh data for the research and now the researcher is the owner of this data. This collection of data requires a lot of time, money and resources. For this, the researchers took surveys, interviews and created polls etc.

Secondary Research

In the secondary research, the researcher uses and relies on the data which is already available. They did not collect fresh data they use the data which is already available on the internet, libraries and authentic websites. This type of research consumes less time and inexpensive.

Difference between Primary Research and Secondary Research

Source of Data

The data collected in primary research is fresh and new. The research collects new data after observation, surveys, interviews, polls, questionnaire, techniques and interaction with people. Primary data requires interactions and observations to form new data. It is the first-hand data.

Whereas in the secondary research uses the data which is already collected and available on internet, websites, libraries and some other sources. The researcher did not collect data; the just sort out the data which is required for the research and analysed and tabulate that data in accordance with the requirement.

Nature of Data

Primary research data is raw and first-hand data. It is freshly collected for the research. The data is new, current and up to date.

Secondary research uses data which is finished, processed and have already researched by the researchers.

Purpose of the Research

Primary research is mostly done for solving a specific problem which is the time needed. The data is new, recent and updated. While in secondary research, we use the primary data, which is analysed and uses and sort it out for the problem in hand.

Time Factor

You need a lot of time and energy for primary research as the research starts from scratch. You have to collect every single data and figures for which there is a long process which requires time and patience. You have to gather data, interpret it, make observations and experiments and then assemble your data as per your requirement which is time taking work you need weeks or months to collect data and complete your research.

In secondary data, you don’t have worries about a long process of data collection. You just sort out data of your will and requirement, which takes very less time as compared to the long process of data collection in primary research. It is a comparatively time saver.


Primary research is expensive while secondary research not. Because in primary research, you collect new data and the long process of data collection requires a lot of money and skilled resources like an online dissertation writing service that has a professional team of writers. To complete the collection process, you have to take so many steps which require time along with the money. But secondary data is inexpensive; it does not require a lot of money because you are using available data which is free of all.


Primary research is completely owned by the researcher. As the researcher has collected the whole data now, he or she can decide whether to make the research and data available for others or not. The researcher is free to take the decision of his data as he is the owner of the data. But in secondary research, the researcher used the data owned by someone else who had made data available for others.

Data Accuracy

The data collected in primary research is more accurate as it is recent and the research has collected and judged the data personally so, he or she is sure about the accuracy of data and know the data collected is true and accurate.

In secondary data when a researcher is not collecting data personally the accuracy is; comparatively, we can say they doubted as the researcher did not know how the data is collected and which tolls are being used in the process of data collection.


Secondary research is more feasible than primary research because in secondary research you just have to use all your effort and energies in the research process you don’t need to complete the time taking the process of data collection. It is easy. The data required for the research is already available; you just have to sort the data of your choice. At the same time, the primary research process requires efforts.


In primary research, you don’t have any particular precautions. You can edit and assemble it as per your choice and requirement. You don’t have to worry about editing data. But in secondary data, you can not edit the data you have to use the available data as it is. In secondary research, the researcher has to rights to bring changes in the data.

Both primary and secondary research has its own advantages and disadvantages. It depends upon the research which method is workable and useful for them.

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