Sample Essay

The secondary data is the type of data which is extracted from some other research work already done by a research institution for their own specific objectives. This means that the data available through secondary sources will be different from what is required by the researcher for his or her research. This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the use of secondary sources for data. Also, the availability of data is also an issue.

For instance, the data on some behavioural tendencies as well as habits of particular ethnic groups such as Asians is very scarce and difficult to locate. Due to rare occurrence of such data, the researcher might have to conduct his or her own research in order to get hold of the required information. In addition to availability, accuracy is another major concern that relates to the data available through secondary sources as it is important that the data comes from an authentic and reliable source in order to ensure the validity of results.  It is often the case that the data that is received from the secondary sources is not accurate and it become very difficult for the researcher to gauge the level of inaccuracy in data in order to set an appropriate margin to accommodate for inaccuracies.

Another disadvantage of the use of secondary data is that, even though it is available and accurate, it might not be sufficient enough to fulfil the demand of the researcher. For example, if the researcher was looking for data on Asian markets and found up-to-date demographics information, still the data would not be enough for the researcher to extract the information he or she requires.  The purpose of the use of secondary data is usually to support particular claims about anything and the researcher has to rely on the work previously accomplished.

Regardless of the advantages mentioned above, secondary data is still widely used by researchers in their researches. This is because the use of secondary data is appealing to the researchers for a number of reasons. First, the secondary data is quite cheaply available as it can be located at a number of places where published data is kept. Secondly, secondary data offers quick access and saves a lot of time of the researcher in locating the appropriate data (Burns and Bush, 2009).

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