Data and its types in research

23/08/2021 3 By indiafreenotes

Data can be defined as a systematic record of a particular quantity. It is the different values of that quantity represented together in a set. It is a collection of facts and figures to be used for a specific purpose such as a survey or analysis. When arranged in an organized form, can be called information. The source of data (primary data, secondary data) is also an important factor.

Quantitative Data: These can be measured and not simply observed. They can be numerically represented and calculations can be performed on them. For example, data on the number of students playing different sports from your class gives an estimate of how many of the total students play which sport. This information is numerical and can be classified as quantitative.

Qualitative Data: They represent some characteristics or attributes. They depict descriptions that may be observed but cannot be computed or calculated. For example, data on attributes such as intelligence, honesty, wisdom, cleanliness, and creativity collected using the students of your class a sample would be classified as qualitative. They are more exploratory than conclusive in nature.

Primary Data

It is the data collected by the investigator himself or herself for a specific purpose.

Primary data is an original and unique data, which is directly collected by the researcher from a source according to his requirements.

Data gathered by finding out first-hand the attitudes of a community towards health services, ascertaining the health needs of a community, evaluating a social program, determining the job satisfaction of the employees of an organization, and ascertaining the quality of service provided by a worker are the examples of primary data.

Secondary Data

Data collected by someone else for some other purpose (but being utilized by the investigator for another purpose) is secondary data.

Secondary data refers to the data which has already been collected for a certain purpose and documented somewhere else.

Gathering information with the use of census data to obtain information on the age-sex structure of a population, the use of hospital records to find out the morbidity and mortality patterns of a community, the use of an organization’s records to ascertain its activities, and the collection of data from sources such as articles, journals, magazines, books and periodicals to obtain historical and other types of information, are examples of secondary data.

Discrete Data: These are data that can take only certain specific values rather than a range of values. For example, data on the blood group of a certain population or on their genders is termed as discrete data. A usual way to represent this is by using bar charts.

Continuous Data: These are data that can take values between a certain range with the highest and lowest values. The difference between the highest and lowest value is called the range of data. For example, the age of persons can take values even in decimals or so is the case of the height and weights of the students of your school. These are classified as continuous data. Continuous data can be tabulated in what is called a frequency distribution. They can be graphically represented using histograms.