Sources of Secondary Data

Sources of Secondary Data

Secondary Data may be collected form a wide variety of sources. Broadly, we can classify these sources into two types. Such as- Internal Sources & External Sources.

Internal sources:

Internal Sources of data are those data that are originated in the organization of generated by the organization. Internally, secondary data can be collected from an organization’s own records and database.

For Example: An Accounting information systems (AIS) of an organization can provide timely & accurate decision support information. Some internal sources of secondary data are described below:

Sales Data:

The sales records of an organization can be a vast source of secondary data. Every organization keeps records regarding Its operation e.g. sales order received & delivered recording cost of goods sold, preparing sales invoice, returned of goods, preparing sales report, etc.

A wide range of information can be collected from the above sources. For example, from sales order and invoices, the following information may be obtained:

  • Sales by geographical region.
  • Sales by type of customer.
  • Prices & Discounts.
  • Average Sales by sales personnel.
  • Sales personnel’s commission.

The above information is useful to identify an organization’s most profitable product & customer & this information is widely used specially in case of marketing research.

Financial Data:

An organization’s financial data can be obtained mainly from its financial statements. The financial statements comprise income statement, balance sheet cash flow statement, notes to the financial statement & owner’s equity statement.

The above financial statements provide information regarding the financial performance & financial position of an organization that are widely used in making managerial decision e.g. investment decision.

The financial data are widely used in research especially in accounting research e.t. capital market research.

Transport Data:

A company that keeps records regarding transport operation is efficient in determining the most profitable route or cost-effective route. Good data on transport operation enables the firm to conduct trade-off analysis & enables the firm to conduct trade-off analysis & enables the firm to have a best financial outcome.


Storage Data:

Storage data can also a great source of secondary data that can be used by the researcher. Information about strong cost, stock handling cost, stock out rare etc. information one useful to analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of operation of an organization.

There is other internal source of collection secondary data e.g. an origination background information of published documents, employee records, etc.

External Sources:

External data are those data that are generated by an entity other than the researcher’s organization. Most of the secondary data are collected by the researcher from external sources. Some external sources of secondary data are described below:

Govt. Statistics:

Govt. statistics is one of the largest sources of secondary data. In every country, govt. conduct research to develop new policy or taking decisions. So, researcher can collect data needed for his study from the govt. statistics. It may include the followings: –

  • Population statistics.
  • Agriculture statistics.
  • Import/Export statistics.
  • Social survey e.g. family expenditure survey.
  • Production statistics etc.

Trade associations:

Trade associations can also be a large source of collecting secondary data.

Commercial service:

Published market research repeats and other publication are available from a wide range of organizations which charge for the information. Typically marking people are interested in consumer info and media statistics obtained from large scale consumers or formers.

The commercial organization provides funds, for the collection of data which are wide variety in Typically contents. Then they sell the data or information to the interested partied for a charge.

Media sources:

Information on a board range of subjects is available from broadcast and print media. CNN Financial News and Business Week are a valuable source for information on the economy and many industries.

Media frequently commission research studies about various aspects of Americans lives, such as financial affairs, and make reports of survey findings available to potential advertisers free of charge.

Data about the readers of magazines and the audiences for broadcast media typically are profiled in media kits and advertisements.

Data such as these are plentiful because the media like to show that their vehicles are viewed or heard by advertiser’s target markets.

National & International Institutes:

There are different national & International institutes worldwide from where the researcher can collect secondary data. Some examples of such institutes are:

  • Bank economic reviews.
  • University research reports.
  • Published journals and Articles.
  • World Bank
  • International Monetary fund (IMF)
  • FIAD
  • UNDP
  • ITC
  • FAD
  • ILO etc.

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