Free Sample: Marketing Research process paper example for writing essay

Marketing Research process - Essay Example

Marketing Plan Java Mini convenience Store Submitted By: Jerkin F. Senators Ill-ABA Submitted to: Mr.. Pennon Ill August 11, 2014 l. Executive Summary Java mini convenience store is a home business variety store which is easy to achieve and maintain. It is beneficial in terms of effort and give’s you financial advantage. Your family earns extra income and develops cooperation and diligence at the same time.

Financial gain will be easier as the business grow through proper management and different marketing strategies to help the business expand. II. Situation Analysis The open garage with grills at front will be the place of business. Glass cabinet will be put up and grocery products will be bought in wholesale, and the business will start at once of course, your purchase receipt will be openly filed within the store so that you have for your pricing.

Electronic loading on cell phones could also be put up at first you can buy your groceries by box and by categories of your capital is not so big. Market Summary Target markets The target market of this business will be the citizens living in Mahogany Villas, orgy. Loco Calm Laguna. Wherein the proponent lives since it will be most accessible to its consumers. Behavior Factors The behavior of the consumer in mahogany villas will depend on the frequency of buying products from the mini convenience store whenever they need it.

Market Needs, trends, growth The store to be established will be useful to the consumers around the area since the main grocery stores and supermarkets are far from Loco which gives the opportunity for both the business and its consumers to get what they need for their ally lives. The trends of the business industry today in terms of small scale businesses are at rage and common because of its feasibility. Thus, there is very large opportunity for a mini convenience store in our location to grow because having this business will not be a loss since everyday people will need something and find somewhere to get it.

SOOT Analysts Strengths Easy to establish since mini convenience stores require small amount of capital Profit is easy to gain since products which can be bought whole sale are cheaper when you ell them per piece Requires only small amount of labor, 1-2 persons from the family could be assigned to be the seller and they can do shifting Can provide financial security for the family Easy to promote since the people in the village are personally owned by the proponent Weaknesses Mini convenience stores are common nowadays, therefore marketing strategies should be provided especially if you are trying to enter this business Products are consumable, so it will require regular orders of supplies Opportunities Opportunity to be the first mini convenience store in Mahogany Villas Payback period s quick which will help the business to grow by buying additional products to sell using the profit gained Opportunity to be a well known mini convenience store in the village which offers quality products at cheaper cost since products are bought wholesale Financial growth will give opportunity for additional family income Opportunity for adding new products to sell aside from basic need for example toys, electronic load Threats Existing mini convenience stores near the proposed location Possibility of new market entries Threat in capital loss if the products are personally consumed by the family Unpredicted price of raw materials depending on the supplier Competition The competitors of the business will be the existing big grocery stores in the village.

Product Offering The products to be offered will be the basic needs of the consumers in the village such as; food, sanitary products, school supplies. There will also be a loading station available so that the consumer who need reload will not go to other stores. Keys to Success The keys to success is the proper budget management, promotion of products thru word of mouth. Critical Issues The factors that will mainly affect the business is the; Capital- the capital from the business will come from the savings of the proponent together with the help of financial assistance from my family. Product’s price – depend on the wholesale price of the supplier but the proponent will assure that the products offered.

Place- the location of the business will be at the address of the proponent which will be accessible to the consumers because it is near the road and many people are passing by. Promotion – The product will be promoted thru word of mouth from the consumers. These factors will determined how successful the business will be. Ill. Marketing Strategy The menu varieties of products I would sell the better. Necessities of household should be available in my grocery store and a member of my family should always be available to sell and operate our store. My prices should be competitive, not too high mark ups. From time to time I can buy some items to other competitive store own price so that I can compare my price. Our budget in buying groceries and cell phone loads should always be own priority.

Calculator and plastic bags should always be at hand. Quickness and snappiness are important in actual selling because most consumers are always in hurry. Price tags are helpful, small tetra pack items should be individually detached for quick dispensing. Door Bell can be helpful, one or two chairs at the front store are optimally beneficial. Note book and pen is helpful in quick and safe selling of cell phone loads, low watts and fluorescent light bulbs should be always switch on at night. Mission To establish one of the most well-owned mini convenience store in Mahogany Villas orgy. Loco Calm City which can provide the basic needs of the citizens.

Marketing Objectives To develop the first mini convenience grocery store around the area and to see to it that there is enough marketing strategies to provide the business the necessary reputation as a well established mini convenience which has most of the basic needs of our neighbors. Financial Objectives To earn income that will help support my family and to be able to expand this business. Target Markets The target market of the business are the people living around Mahogany villas of efferent age groups. Positioning My store is in good position because there is no grocery store Strategies Delivering ordered commodities to house of the customers. Marketing Mix nearby. I will add various school supplies, office supplies and children’s toys.

Marketing Research I will research the cheapest prices of the groceries and the prices of my competitors. ‘V. Financial Break- even Analysis It is fine that the income at first is break even because it is in the process of knowing by buyers, and is also still in the process of adding product due to financial ministrations. Sale Forecast Sales output in selling grocery store and cell phone load is sure. The volume of sale totally depends on the availability of products and store operator. Customer satisfaction is the key and is always the goal of selling to achieve good sales. Expense Forecast Prepare big amount of capital for the purchase of groceries and cell phone loads.

Re purchase groceries and other items using your sales cash as much as you can as long there are products that you can sell. V. Controls Implementation Marketing Organization I am the owner of grocery store and my mother will be the operator of the store. My father is the purchaser of the supplies and products that will put in the store and, my two sisters is the Cashier. Contingency Planning If short of funds arises. My father will file a low interest loans in Cooperatives or in his mutual funds. To be able to have a back up, there should always be enough supplies to suffice the demands of the consumers. An inventory should always be present but must not be too high because hoarding could lead to capital loss if the products stored are not rapidly sold.

Free Sample: Marketing Research Process paper example for writing essay

Marketing Research Process - Essay Example

Research Process Some of the major steps involved in marketing research process are as follows: 1 . Identification and Defining the Problem 2. Statement of Research Objectives 3. Planning the Research Design or Designing the Research Study 4. Planning the Sample 5. Data Collection 6. Data Processing and Analysis 7. Formulating Conclusion, Preparing and Presenting the Report. Marketing research exercise may take many forms but systematic enquiry is a feature common to all such forms. Being a systematic enquiry, it requires a careful planning of the orderly investigation process.

Though it is not necessary that all research processes would invariably follow a given sequence, yet marketing research often follows a generalized pattern which can be broken down and studied as sequential stages. The various stages or steps in the marketing research process are discussed below: 1 . Identification and Defining the Problem: The market research process begins with the identification “of a problem faced by the company. The clear-cut statement of problem may not be possible at the very outset of research process because often only the symptoms of the problems are apparent at that stage.

Then, after some explanatory research, clear definition of the problem is of crucial importance in marketing research because such research is a costly process involving time, energy and money. Clear definition of the problem helps the researcher in all subsequent research efforts including setting of proper research objectives, the determination of the techniques to be used, and the extent of information to be collected. It may be noted that the methods of explanatory research popularly in use are-?survey of secondary data, experience survey, or pilot studies, I. E. , studies of a small initial sample.

All this is also known as ‘preliminary investigation’. 2. Statement of Research Objectives: After identifying and defining the problem with or without explanatory research, the researcher must take a formal statement of research objectives. Such objectives may be stated in qualitative or quantitative terms and expressed as research questions, statement or hypothesis. For example, the research objective, “To find out the extent to which sales promotion schemes affected the sales volume” is a research objective expressed as a statement. On the other hand, a hypothesis is a statement that can be refuted or supported by empirical finding.

The same research objective could be stated as, “To test the proposition that sales are positively affected by the sales promotion schemes undertaken this winter. ” Example of another hypothesis may be: “The new packaging pattern has resulted in increase in sales and profits. ” Once the objectives or the hypotheses are developed, the researcher is ready to choose the research design. 3. Planning the Research Design or Designing the Research Study: After defining the research problem and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed.

A research design is a master plan specifying the procedure for electing and analyzing the needed information. It represents a framework for the research plan of action. The objectives of the study are included in the research design to ensure that data collected are relevant to the objectives. At this stage, the researcher should also determine the type of sources of information needed, the data collection method (e. G. , survey or interview), the sampling, methodology, and the timing and possible costs of research. 4.

Planning the Sample: Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the ‘population’ (total items) to make conclusion regarding the ‘population’. Important questions in this regard are-? who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target ‘population’? What should be the sample size-?how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the sample? 5. Data Collection: The collection of data relates to the gathering of facts to be used in solving the problem. Hence, methods of market research are essentially methods of data collection. Data can be secondary, I. E. Collected from concerned reports, magazines and other periodicals, especially written articles, government publications, company publications, books, etc. Data can be primary, I. E. , collected from the original base through empirical research by means of various tools. There can be broadly two types of sources (I) Internal sources-?existing within the firm itself, such as accounting data, salesman’s reports, etc. (it) External sources-?outside the firm. 6. Data Processing and Analysis: Once data have been collected, these have to be converted into a format that will suggest answers to the initially identified and defined problem.

Data processing begins with the editing of data and its coding. Editing involves inspecting the data- election forms for omission, legibility, and consistency in classification. Before tabulation, responses need to be classified into meaningful categories. The rules for categorizing, recording and transferring the data to ‘data storage media’ are called codes. This coding process facilitates the manual or computer tabulation. If computer analysis is being used, the data can be key punched and verified. Analysis of data represents the application of logic to the understanding of data collected about the subject.

In its simplest form analysis may involve determination of consistent patterns and summarizing of appropriate details. The appropriate analytical techniques chosen would depend upon informational requirements of the problem, characteristics of the research designs and the nature of the data gathered. The statistical analysis may range from simple immediate analysis to very complex multivariate analysis. 7. Formulating Conclusion, Preparing and Presenting the Report: The final stage in the marketing research process is that of interpreting the information and drawing conclusion for use in managerial decision.

The research report should clearly and effectively communicate the research findings and need to include complicated statement about the technical aspect of the study and research methods. Often the management is not interested in details of research design and statistical analysis, but instead, in the concrete findings of the research. If need be, the researcher may bring out his appropriate recommendations or suggestions in the matter. Researchers must make the presentation technically accurate, understandable and useful.

Notes on the Benefits of Market Research for Small Firms By Smith Chain Research Small firms are often unwilling to invest in market research as a market research exercise seems to be an expensive proposition. Moreover, it is a time-taking process and an entrepreneurial venture is usually in a hurry. Image Courtesy : rainmaking. Com/WAP-content/uploads/2012/03/1 define_Lenten- Marketing-Benefits. Pang Many entrepreneurial ventures take a middle path and decide to undertake market research when there is a big decision to be taken. This is not necessarily the right approach.

The question of when to resort to market research can be answered by a cost-benefit analysis. The costs of doing market research are the direct expenses of doing research as well as the probable loss in ales due to delaying the decision. The benefit of market research lies in the increase in revenue by improving the quality of the decision. It is quite possible that the cost- benefit analysis may be against research even if stakes are high. A delay in the decision caused by waiting for the results of the market research can give an opportunity to competitors to capture market share at your cost.

Market research is not to be confused with a field survey. A field survey is Just one of the techniques used in market research. Any reliable information that improves the marketing decision is market research. Some other sources of information related to the market research are discussed below. Systematic Observation: It can comprise a variety of activities such as observing buying behavior of customers in shopping places or observing the actual usage of the products by customers. Focus Groups: These are made up of random or selected individuals who discuss a topic of interest to the researcher.

Secondary Sources: This refers to information from published sources such as magazines, Journals, statistical outlines, archives, etc. This is the data that has been collected and is now available to others. Test Marketing: Releasing the product in a small part of the market targeted is a good way for getting reliable information on customer’s reaction to the product. Market research is not a very difficult activity, but there is a high level of sophistication involved. The entrepreneur should be well acquainted with the basics so that he/she has an idea of what can be expected and how to achieve it.

Usually, it pays to get the services of professionals to conduct the market research. Even in the case of field surveys, there are some easy ways to cut costs, which should be seriously explored by the entrepreneur and his/her researchers. These are discussed here. Convenience Sampling: In this case, the field survey is restricted to the individuals you have easy access to, e. G. Existing customers. Snowball Sampling: Here, you ask respondents to suggest others who could also be respondents. This can be a unique way of finding rare populations.

For example, if you have come out with a product likely to be of use to polo players, asking a polo player can be the best way to find other polo players. Omnibus Sampling: A lot of research organizations such as EMIR conduct surveys and come up with exults and compilations that will be of interest to many organizations. Such reports can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of doing a fresh research. The cost per customer is low as costs are shared by many. The disadvantage is that the survey is not tailored to your needs. Low-cost Surveyors: Many Nags and student bodies come forward to do research work.

With proper supervision, they will be able to do a good Job for a relatively less cost of hiring a market-research agency. Results from a market research are useful, but the research is most valuable under the following circumstances: 1. The researcher understands decision alternatives and the information required. 2. The relationship between results and the decision is understood by the entrepreneur and the researcher. 3. The results are communicated well. Sometimes, the results can be cloaked in Jargon and the researcher can fail to convey the true significance of the results. . The research design and planning is not poor. Otherwise, it can delay the research or can result in erroneous conclusions. 5. A lot of market research, particularly field surveys, is done under direct supervision and there is no scope to fudge basic data. With fudged data, the results will get skewed and a wrong picture will be presented to the client. It pays to be careful with the results from a market survey. At best, it is a good estimate, but a number of factors can result in a good estimate that is nowhere near the actual market performance.

Sometimes, the market-research agencies are also found to be optimistically overstating the results to get a favorable response from the clients. One of the commonest reasons for entrepreneurial firms to conduct a market survey is to forecast market demand. There can be a lot of methods to arrive t a forecasted demand, but most methods are based on the following steps: I. Define the total market. It. Divide total demand into distinct market segments. Iii. Forecast drivers of demand in each segment. ‘v. Match with own product to come up with possible sales of own product in that segment. V.

Total the forecasted sales in the segments that can be profitably targeted. V’. Conduct sensitivity analysis to understand assumptions. Market Research: Meaning, Definition and Objectives of Market Research By Smith Chain Marketing Management Market Research: Meaning, Definition and Objectives of Market Research! Meaning and Definition of Market Research: A marketing manager can draw from many sources of information which vary on the basis of their availability, cost, usefulness, and the time needed to obtain information. Research study is an important method or strategy for obtaining market information.

Some important definitions of market research may be given as follows: American Marketing Association, “Marketing Research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services. ” American Marketing Association defines marketing research {1987) Ђ?”Marketing research is the function which links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information-?information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.

Marketing Research specifies the information required to address these issues; designs the method for collecting information; manages and implements the data collection process; analyses the results; and communicates the findings and their implications. Thus, market research may be defined as the systematic and objective process of collecting, generating, analyzing, and interpreting information and communicating the findings for use in making marketing decisions. Hence, marketing research is a special effort rather than a haphazard attempt at gathering information.

Marketing research is a systematic search and analysis of market information. Careful planning through all stages of the research is a necessity. For example, one should start with a clear and concise statement of the problem or issues to be investigated, indicate the information required to study that robber or those issues, define the methods to be adopted to collect the required data, specify the relevant technique to be employed to analyses the data, and finally state the search findings and their specific implications for marketing decision- making.

Secondly, objectivity in research is all-important, which implies unbiased or impartial gathering and analysis of information. Finally, the research should provide meaningful information in the most efficient manner through application of professional methodology so as to broaden managerial decision alternatives and reduce the range of decision error. For this purpose, marketing managers should also provide to the researcher a detailed scenario of the problems faced, and must allow him adequate time and budget for conducting the study.

Market research should not be used as a fire-fighting device. Objectives of Market Research: 1 . To link the consumer with the company through information to know more about him. 2. To investigate the real needs and requirements of customers. 3. To search for and analyses information that can be used for evolving some marketing decision alternatives and finally arriving at the best alternative. 4. To suggest necessary hangers in the goods and services in order to meet the market demands. 5.

To find out reasons for slowly loosing market share, and to identify ways and means for strengthening company’s position in the market, within and outside the country. 6. To identify opportunities and threats in the external environment of the company. 7. To know about the reactions of the people in the market about the existing or newly introduced products of the company. 8. To know in advance what kind of target markets exist in the economy where the company may launch its products as an innovation in the line.

Marketing Research: Scope, Advantage and Limitations I Marketing Management By Smith Chain Marketing Management Marketing Research: Scope, Advantage and Limitations! Scope of marketing research means the possible applications of marketing research in corporate environment. Bulk of research is done to measure consumer needs and wants. Besides, marketing research is carried out to assess the impact of past marketing actions. Some research is done to understand the competitive, technological, social, economic, cultural, political or legal environments of the market.

Another way of looking at the scope of marketing research is the look at the particular session area, where research results are used. They may be outlined as follows: Sales Analysis: Much research is done in these areas which are broadly referred to as sales analysis -? measurement of market potential/demand projection, determination of market characteristics, market share estimation, studies of business trends, etc. Sales Methods and Policies: Marketing research studies are also conducted with a view to evaluating the effectiveness of present distribution system.

Such studies are used in establishing or revising sales territories. They are also helpful in establishment of sales quotas, sign of territory boundary, compensation to sales force, physical distribution, cost analysis, etc. It is also done to assess the effectiveness of different promotional activities, such as premiums, deals, coupons, samples, etc. Product Management: Market research is also conducted in order to better manage the existing and new products-?to assess consumer feedback, to assess consumer reaction before launching a new product, etc.

Sometimes pricing studies, packaging research, and design or physical characteristics studies have also been conducted. Advertising Research: These include media research, and advertising copy research. Corporate Research: Corporate research studies about the social value research, political studies {e. G. , research to ascertain the public opinion about the election results), and consumer service studies (e. G. , many banks and large industrial houses have conducted market research to know the consumer’s changing needs, for service and possible grievances about existing operations).

Syndicated Research: Several research agencies collect and tabulate marketing information on a continuing basis. Reports are sent periodically (I. E. , weekly, monthly or quarterly) to clients who pay subscription for them. Advantages of Marketing Research: Importance: The following advantages offered by marketing research show its importance: 1 . Facilitates planned production: By forecasts of probable sales in the coming years. 2. Discovery of causes of consumer’s resistance: It helps in identifying the reasons for consumer resistance to existing or new products. 3.

Correction of defects: It reveals defects and therefore makes corrective action possible. 4. Reveals the nature of demand: It brings out whether the product is in constant demand throughout the year or has a seasonal demand. 5. Effectiveness of existing channels of distribution: For example, in the case of TV’s it may be discovered that after sale service is not satisfactory. Then, arrangements may be made to remove such grievances of the customers. 6. Product utility: It indicates why exactly the product is being purchased by the people and what exact service do they get out of it.

For example, a market research conducted by Hindustan Lever Ltd. , revealed that their ‘Sunlight Soap’ which was originally intended to serve as a washing soap, was being used as toilet soap by many people. 7. New uses of the product: Marketing research may reveal certain new uses for the existing products. 8. Market information: It provides complete information about the market and the changes that are likely to occur in demand for a certain product. 9. Discovery of potential market: It provides information about the possibility of potential (future) market. 0. Discovery of new lines of production: It helps in the discovery of supplementary lines of products. Limitations of Marketing It is important to note here the following limitations of market research: (I) A research study will fail to serve its purpose if marketing researcher merely collects some statistical facts; or is preoccupied with techniques or; uses data of questionable validity; or communicates the findings in too much vague or technical language.

A research study will suffer if the marketing manager does not offer full perspective of the research problem; or allows inadequate time; or uses research as a fire-fighting’ device; or does not really appreciate the value of research. (iii) Marketing research cannot by itself provide the solution or make the decision. It only reveals relevant information to the marketing managers who can be able then to make sound and strategic marketing decisions. 2nd Research Design A research design is a systematic plan to study a scientific problem.

The design of a study defines the study type (descriptive, correlation, semi-experimental, experimental, review, meta-analytic) and sub-type (e. G. , descriptive-longitudinal case study), research question, hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, experimental design, and, if applicable, data collection methods and a statistical analysis plan. Research design is the framework that has been created to seek answers to research questions. DATA COLLECTION METHODS Registration A register is a depository of information on fishing vessels, companies, gear, licenses or individual fishers.

It can be used to obtain complete enumeration through a legal requirement. Registers are implemented when there is a need for accurate knowledge of the size and type of the fishing fleet and for closer monitoring of fishing activities to ensure compliance with fishery regulations. They may also incorporate information related to fiscal purposes (e. G. Issuance or renewal of fishing licenses). Although registers are usually implemented for purposes other than to collect data, they can be very useful in the design and implementation of a statistical system, provided that the data they contain are reliable, timely and complete 6. 2 Questionnaires In contrast with interviews, where an enumerator poses questions directly, questionnaires refer to forms filled in by respondents alone. Questionnaires can be handed out or sent by mail and later collected or returned by stamped addressed envelope. This method can be adopted for the entire population or sampled sectors. Questionnaires may be used to collect regular or infrequent routine data, and data for specialized studies. While the information in this section applies to questionnaires for all these uses, examples will concern only routine data, whether regular or infrequent.

Some of the data often obtained through questionnaires include demographic characteristics, fishing practices, opinions of stakeholders on fisheries issues or management, general information on fishers and household food budgets. A questionnaire requires respondents to fill out the form themselves, and so requires a high level of literacy. Where multiple languages are common, questionnaires should be prepared using the major languages of the target group. Special care needs to be taken in these cases to ensure accurate translations.

In order to maximize return rates, questionnaires should be designed to be as simple ND clear as possible, with targeted sections and questions. Most importantly, questionnaires should also be as short as possible. If the questionnaire is being given to a sample population, then it may be preferable to prepare several smaller, more targeted questionnaires, each provided to a sub-sample. If the questionnaire is used for a complete enumeration, then special care needs to be taken to avoid overburdening the respondent.

If, for instance, several agencies require the same data, attempts should be made to co-ordinate its collection to avoid duplication. The information that can be obtained through questionnaires consists of almost any data variable. For example, catch or landing information can be collected through questionnaire from fishers, market middle-persons, market sellers and buyers, processors etc. Likewise, socio-economic data can also be obtained through questionnaires from a variety of sources. However, in all cases variables obtained are an opinion and not a direct measurement, and so may be subject to serious errors.

Using direct observations (6. 3. 4) or reporting systems (6. 3. 5) for these sorts of data is more reliable. Questionnaires, like interviews, can contain either structured questions with blanks to be filled in, multiple choice questions, or they can contain open-ended questions where the respondent is encouraged to reply at length and choose their own focus to some extent. To facilitate filling out forms and data entry in a structured format, the form should ideally be machine-readable, or at least laid out with data fields clearly identifiable and responses pre-coded.

In general, writing should be reduced to a minimum (e. G. Tick boxes, multiple choices), preferably being limited to numerals. In an open-ended format, keywords and other structuring procedures should be imposed later to facilitate database entry and analysis, if necessary. 6. 3. 3 Interviews In interviews information is obtained through inquiry and recorded by enumerators. Structured interviews are performed by using survey forms, whereas open interviews are notes taken while talking with respondents. The notes are subsequently structured (interpreted) for further analysis.

Open-ended interviews, which need to be interpreted and analyses even during the interview, have to be carried out by well-trained observers and/or enumerators. As in preparing a questionnaire, it is important to pilot test forms designed for the interviews. The best attempt to clarify and focus by the designer cannot anticipate all possible respondent interpretations. A small-scale test prior to actual use for data collection will assure better data and avoid wasting time and money. Although structured interviews can be used to obtain almost any information, as with questionnaires, information is based on personal opinion.

Data on variables such as catch or effort are potentially subject to large errors, due to poor estimates or intentional errors of sensitive information. . 3. 5 Reporting In most complete enumeration approaches, fisheries staff do not directly undertake data collection, but use external data sources. Most commonly, these sources are data forms completed by the fishing companies themselves, middle persons, market operators, processors and even trading companies and custom offices. Such methods are almost exclusively used for semi-industrial and industrial fisheries and institutions.

The advantage of using reports is that data are compiled by agents other than fisheries staff and sometimes can be made available in pre-processed enterprises format directly from the company’s records, thereby reducing administration costs. Confidentiality of information (such as fishing grounds and catch rates) should be part of the agreement for data submission, and statistical outputs of the survey should not contain information related to individual fishing vessels or companies. However, there are also risks of under-reporting or of deliberate distortion of data, especially fishing ground, catch and revenue related information. Useful methods of collecting primary data in statistics Statistical data as we have seen can be either primary or secondary. Primary data are those which are collected for the first time and so are in crude form. But secondary data are those which have already been collected. Primary data are always collected from the source. It is collected either by the investigator himself or through his agents. There are different methods of collecting primary data. Each method has its relative merits and demerits. The investigator has to choose a particular method to collect the information.

The choice to a large extent depends on the preliminaries to data collection some of the commonly used methods are discussed below. 1 . Direct Personal observation: This is a very general method of collecting primary data. Here the investigator directly contacts the informants, solicits their cooperation and enumerates the data. The information are collected by direct personal interviews. The novelty of this method is its simplicity. It is neither difficult for the enumerator nor the informants. Because both are present at the spot of data collection.

This method provides most accurate information as the investigator collects them personally. But as the investigator alone is involved in the process, his personal bias may influence the accuracy of the data. So it is necessary that the investigator should be honest, unbiased and experienced. In such cases the data collected may be fairly accurate. However, the method is quite costly and time-consuming. So the method should be used when the scope of enquiry is small. 2. Indirect Oral Interviews : This is an indirect method of collecting primary data.

Here information are not collected directly from the source but by interviewing persons closely related with the problem. This method is applied to apprehend culprits in case of theft, murder etc. The information relating to one’s personal life or which the informant hesitates o reveal are better collected by this method. Here the investigator prepares ‘a small list of questions relating to the enquiry. The answers (information) are collected by interviewing persons well connected with the incident. The investigator should cross- examine the informants to get correct information.

This method is time saving and involves relatively less cost. The accuracy of the information largely depends upon the integrity of the investigator. It is desirable that the investigator should be experienced and capable enough to inspire and create confidence in the informant to collect accurate data. . Mailed Questionnaire method: This is a very commonly used method of collecting primary data. Here information are collected through a set of questionnaire. A questionnaire is a document prepared by the investigator containing a set of questions.

These questions relate to the problem of enquiry directly or indirectly. Here first the questionnaires are mailed to the informants with a formal request to answer the question and send them back. For better response the investigator should bear the postal charges. The questionnaire should carry a polite note explaining the aims and objective of the inquiry, definition of various terms and concepts used there. Besides this the investigator should ensure the secrecy of the information as well as the name of the informants, if required.

Success of this method greatly depends upon the way in which the questionnaire is drafted. So the investigator must be very careful while framing the questions. The questions should be (I) Short and clear (it) Few in number (iii) Simple and intelligible (iv) Corroboratory in nature or there should be provision for cross check (v) Impersonal, non-aggressive type (v’) Simple alternative, multiple-choice or open-end type a) In the simple alternative question type, the respondent has to choose between alternatives such as Yes or No’, ‘right or wrong etc.

For example: Is Adam Smith called father of Statistics ? Yes/No, (b) In the multiple choice type, the respondent has to answer from any of the given alternatives. Example: To which sector do you belong ? (I) Primary Sector (ii) Secondary Sector (iii) Tertiary or Service Sector (c) In the Open-end or free answer questions the respondents are given complete freedom in answering the questions. The questions are like – What are the defects of our educational system ? The questionnaire method is very economical in terms of time, energy and money.

The method is widely used when the scope of enquiry is large. Data collected by this method are not affected by the personal bias of the investigator. However the accuracy of the information depends on the cooperation and honesty of the informants. This method can be used only if the informants are cooperative, conscious and educated. This limits the scope of the method. 4. Schedule Method: In case the informants are largely uneducated and non-responsive data cannot be collected by the mailed questionnaire method. In such cases, schedule method is used to collect data.