Statistics >>Collection of primary data
For the collection of primary data, the following methods can be adopted.
A. Direct Personal Investigation
According to this method, the investigator himself personally goes to the persons and collects the necessary information. The investigator establishes personal contact with the informants and conducts on the spot enquiry.
This method gives more reliable results because of personal approach. This method is suitable when the field of enquiry is small and a high degree of accuracy in desired.
But the method is costly and time consuming. Also, the personal bias of the investigator may enter into the data.
B. Indirect Oral Investigation
This method is used incase where informants are reluctant to supply information and is very difficult to contact them directly. Under [his method indirect evidence of third parties who are in touch with facts desired, is recorded. Enquiry committees and commissions mostly use this method.
This method is economic and time saving. Here the direct contact with the primary source is necessary. A wide area can be brought under investigation.
The informations obtained from the third parties may not be reliable at times.
C. Investigation through Local Agencies
Here there is no formal collection of any data but the local correspondents residing indifferent areas collect the information and report the same to the authority. This method is adopted by newspapers and periodicals.
This method is very cheap and yield result easily and a wide area can be covered.
But the reliability of data may be a matter of doubt.
D. Mailed Questionnaire Method
In this method the schedules of questions known as questionnaires are mailed to the informants with the request of quick response after duly filled in. Generally this method is adopted by research institutes and private bodies.
This method is the least expensive method. The bias of the investigator is completly ruled out. By this method original data are collected.
This method cannot be applied when the informants are illiterate and success of the method depends upon the co-operation of the respondents.
E. Schedules sent through Enumerators
Questionnaire is a list of questions which are answered by the respondent himself in his own handwriting while schedule is the method of getting answers to the questions in a form which are filled by the interviewers in a face to face situation.
In this method the enumerators go to the respondents with the schedule and record their replies. Population census is done by this technique.
This method can be applied even when the informants are illiterate. By this method maximum possible results can be obtained. Here method of substitution can be applied if there is non-response.
This method is quite expensive and time consuming. However, the accuracy largely depend upon the skill and efficiency of the investigator.
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