In any research, there are two types of data. These are primary data and secondary data. Primary data is the information collected first hand by a researcher. The process involves the collection of information through interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, surveys and reading measurements (Creswell, 2003). Contrastingly, secondary data refers to information already collected and analyzed by someone else. Secondary sources include information from newspapers, books, magazines, articles and journals.
The use of newspapers and magazine articles as secondary sources has several demerits. Unlike books, the accuracy of information from these sources is often questionable (Creswell, 2003). Most magazines and newspaper articles have demonstrated bias in conveying information in that editors often publish articles aimed at pleasing the public instead of providing facts. Similarly, information covered in these articles is relevant for a significantly short period unlike information from books.
For effective research results, researchers should use both primary and secondary data sources. Primary data collection will be appropriate when a researcher fails to find the needed information in the secondary sources. Similarly, with both data sources, researchers can countercheck their information leading to accurate and effective data analysis. In addition, researchers have identified that when one engages actively in the collection of primary data, he or she will acquire necessary skills used to supplement research in secondary sources (Creswell, 2003). Therefore, the usage of both primary and secondary sources in every research is essential.
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When gathering descriptive information, researchers normally prefer survey methods. The survey is one of the cheapest method of data collection as compared to observation and experimental methods. By using this method, several kinds of information can be collected (Creswell, 2003).
A loaded question is a query that requires multiple answers or opinions. Loaded questions are framed to expect an answer that that is yet to be proven (Creswell, 2003). An example of a loaded question is, has the government responded to the allegations?
When one wants to understands people’s thoughts and feelings, focus group interviewing is the most appropriate tool to employ in his or her research. This approach is often used to establish the topic areas on which inquiries should be undertaken later in large scale and structured direct interview (Creswell, 2003). Research experts assert that this method is best suited for hotel and restaurants managers because they have easy access to customers.