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Statistics: Precautions In The Use of Secondary Data

Precautions in The Use of Secondary Data:
Secondary data are collected by someone and used by others. So, the investigators should check about the reliability, suitability, and adequacy before using secondary data. It is because the secondary data may be inadequate and unsuitable. Thus, the following precautions should be adopted while using secondary data.

1. Reliability of secondary data.
The success or failure of any research work depends on the reliability of data. If the collected data are accurate and reliable then the results become right and such type of investigation shows reality. If the collected data are wrong or insufficient, the result becomes wrong and the consequences become harmful. Thus, before using secondary data, we should check whether the data are reliable or not. While testing the reliability, the following things should take into consideration.

a) Who collected the data, what were the objectives of collecting data?
b) Was the investigator experienced, capable, honest, and unbiased?
c) Whether the appropriate techniques of collecting data were applied or not?
d) What degree of accuracy was maintained in the data?
e) Was there checking about the accuracy of data?
f) In which time period and in what sort of condition were the data collected?

2. Suitability.
While using secondary data, we have to examine thoroughly, whether the data are suitable for our investigation or not. The suitability of the data can be tested by comparing the nature, objectives, and scope of the present inquiry with those of the original inquiry. If the nature of the data is different, such data will not be suitable for the study and can’t be a valid result.

3. Adequacy.
Though the availability of data is suitable, it may not be adequate for inquiry. Data must cover the study area. Otherwise, the findings can’t be generalized. For example: if we want to investigate the success rate of grade 11 students of the Jhapa, the data from only Damak can’t be adequate. Instead, we should also collect data from other places.