If you are familiar with data and its usage, you will always be in the lookout for how to find data that will be useful for you so that you can easily make correct decisions when you have to. Data are raw facts that can be converted into information through processes such as sorting, calculation and analysis. When you know about data and its importance, you will be able to use them appropriately when you have to. The different sources of data are often classified into 2: Primary sources of data and Secondary sources of data.
Primary sources of data
There are two main primary sources of data. They are usually through interviews and questionnaire. These are discussed subsequently.
Interviews often entail meeting professionals in a particular field of interest to ask them questions which could be orally or written. For instance, if you want to know the challenges a particular school is facing, you could meet the principal of the school or other management staff to ask them what challenges they are facing. They will subsequently be able to outline and give further details about the different challenges they face. Those who are not management staff might not be privy to that information, hence, you might not get the right answers from a pupil or a bank manager or the principal of a different school.
The questionnaire is a list of questions that have been typed out to get information relating to a particular topic that can be shared out to people who make up the sample size for research. To achieve this, the individual will have to get the population for the study and then use the right formula, one of which is the Yamane formula to calculate the sample size. The questionnaire is then shared among the sample size in a way that impartial answers can be gotten. The answers from the questionnaire serve as data that can be analysed to get information that is needed by the researcher.
Secondary sources of data
There are quite some sources of secondary data from where data can be gotten from. Some secondary sources of data are explained below.
Books are one of the most common ways of getting data. Millions of books have been produced in the world on various topics. Hence, the individual or institution in search of data just has to look for the right books. Books can be accessed from a library, by buying or borrowing among others. If you are searching for a reputable platform to buy hard copy books or e-books, you can read reviews on uk.collected.reviews to avoid buying from the wrong place.
The right magazine is another rich secondary source of data. Magazines mostly consist of articles about a topic. Hence, you can always get the latest data about various topics by getting the latest copies of magazines.
Official publications are often trusted because they are released by government bodies and are often open to criticism. Hence, the government always strive to ensure their official publications are error-free as regularly releasing official publications with wrong data or mistakes can easily lead to the public losing trust in the government.
Journals are a type of publication where professionals in a particular field can submit articles. Most articles on journals are mostly from individuals in the educational field, majorly lecturers in universities. The articles are expected to be results of thorough research and are often vetted through strict measures by the body producing the journal before they are released. The body that publishes the journal tries to avoid wrong data and information in their journal as they know it could discredit the reputation of their journal.
Other sources of secondary data include conference papers and unpublished materials among others.