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Types of Secondary Data

Depending upon the gathering source, secondary data can be divided into two categories: (i) internal secondary data; (ii) and external secondary data. Let us explain each of the two categories in the ensuing text.

Internal Data

Internal data is procured by a researcher in normal operations within his own premises. These data may include credit records, orders, shipments, sales results, advertising expenditures, derailed operating statements, general and developmental budgets, research records, transportation costs, raw material costs, previous research reports, etc. These are a few examples of secondary data internally available within a firm.

Internal secondary data are collected in many companies in such an unorganized fashion that even the researchers having proper knowledge of such data availability within the company, seek these from the external environment. This is due to the tendency of researchers to search for data from outside sources. Otherwise, these data can be gathered with a relatively lesser formal methods and lower costs. Only thing required to know is; How the company is compiling and recording data which the researcher needs?

It is desired that firms should maintain their internal secondary data in a systematic manner. More and more Indian firms are realizing the importance of inter0departmental co-operations for maintaining such records and reaping maximum benefits from the internal data. This realization has led some firms to develop their formal information systems to record, analyze, evaluate, store, retrieve and disseminate such data effectively. Data banks are created in the firms having a good marketing formation system to avoid unnecessary paper explosion and wastage of human energies in unwanted duplication of data files, central pool and managers requiring any data for decision-making make use fo this data pool.

External Data

External data are generated and collected from variety of events and sources outside the firm’s premises. Tremendously large number of sources are available from which such data can be execrated. Availability of such a large number of sources is really mind boggling. Thousands fo books and periodicals are published every year in each country. Thus, one can imagine the number of sources of secondary data existing in the modern world.

Searching External Data

For searching external data, the researcher is required to use the available “aids” in a systematic and scientific manner. These aids include indices, abstracts, directors, and other guides. An index and an abstract can be distinguished. An abstract presents the basic contents of a publication in a capsule from. Whereas, an index presents only the minimum data about a publication that is restricting itself to dictation regarding author, publisher, data of publication, etc.

For searching books and journals, card catalogues both subject wise and author wise are available for consultation in the libraries. If researcher has formed a list of books and journals in either of the above manner, the desired sources can be easily traced. Similarly, indices are available for locating newspapers and other publications in the libraries for locating newspapers also made available to the researcher. For any help, the researcher should go to the respective librarian who may in turn depute some of his assistants to trace the required information in the library.

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