Primary research data is imperative for researchers conducting primary research. Primary research requires original firsthand data that address the research objectives and questions. It is more reliable than secondary research because the data is collected and evaluated inductively to build up a theory. However, researchers often avoid primary research, thinking it is too expensive to conduct. Fortunately, technology has revolutionised the research landscape, and researchers can now collect data easily using economical methods and tools. This article will tell you about the six easy and cheap ways to collect primary research data.
What is primary research data?
Primary research data pertains to a type of data that is collected for the first time for the research purpose. The researcher collects the primary data through interviews, observations, questionnaires, and experiments. Also, primary data collection entails acquiring data from government sources and archival documents. Primary data is the firsthand account of the incidents and events related to the primary issue under investigation. It enables the researcher to develop a novel perspective on the issue in the existing literature.
The data sources for primary research are selected and customised to align with the research objectives and initial hypotheses. Also, researchers have to identify a population and select the appropriate sample size that is representative of the entire population. Researchers use various sampling strategies, such as probability and non-probability, to select a representative sample.
What are the 6 easy and cheap ways to collect primary research data?
Here are the six easy and cheap ways to collect primary research data:
Google Forms are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to collect primary research data. All you have to do is to sign in with your Google account and create a Google Form. Creating a Google form costs nothing, and it is completely free. Survey questionnaire research is one of the popular and most common research methods in primary research. You can easily create a survey questionnaire on Google forms and ask various questions.
For instance, you can compose short-ended and open-ended questions and rating scale questions. Google forms have an easy-to-use interface, and the layout is quite simple for novice researchers. Google form links can be shared with the respondents through email and social media. You can reach out to as many people as possible within a short span of time. You do not have to physically go to the places and get the survey forms filled. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
Moreover, Google form is a great tool for transforming raw data into meaningful information. You can automatically create an Excel sheet linked to the cloud survey forms, and the information gets updated while people submit their responses. Also, you can create tables, graphs and pie charts automatically and transform your data into a presentational format.
An online survey tool called SurveyMonkey allows users to design, distribute, and evaluating questionnaires. Users can distribute surveys to respondents and publish them on their Facebook and other social media profiles to boost levels of engagement. Survey monkey is an easy and economical tool for collecting primary research data. Business researchers can conduct consumer satisfaction surveys to gain feedback on goods and services. They can also send staff satisfaction surveys to learn how satisfied employees are with their work environment. Users of the tool can transmit surveys from a smartphone and monitor the results. Social science researchers can also use survey monkey to distribute questionnaires among the respondents and get responses from the chosen sample size.
Survey monkey helps researchers minimise biasness by using a wide variety of questions. Researchers can create multiple-type questions, rating scales and matrix questions to gather a wide range of responses. Survey Monkey costs $25 per month, and a maximum of three users can use the tool. The pricing includes the option to share the survey, compile comments on a common platform, evaluation and filtration. Also, the pricing includes 50,000 responses per year, which is enough data for any research. Additionally, you can benefit from the survey templates and use them for creating questionnaires. If you do not know how to design a survey questionnaire, then you can always take help from expert researchers at Dissertation Help UK.
Archival Documents and Government Records
Archival documents are the most reliable source of primary research data. Although it takes some time to access the data due to the red tape bureaucracy, it provides you with a rich data source. Archival documents can provide authentic evidence and add credibility to your research which will help you write a well-written dissertation. On top of that, it costs nothing, and you can access the data for free. But patience is utmost while accessing the archival data because there are often long queues and delays in the public archive libraries.
Interview through Zoom
Technology has brought ease and convenience, and now you can interview people from the confines of your home. Gone are the days when researchers had to travel to distant locations to interview people and collect data for their research. Now, you can easily set up an interview through a Zoom meeting and access anyone across the globe with a computer and internet connection. Zoom lets you conduct interviews and collect primary research data easily. You do not have to pay anything and can interview as many people as possible.
Focus group discussions are one of the most efficient and easy ways to collect primary research data. You can invite the research participants over to your house and collect data for your research. It is a semi-formal data collection method and helps you register the opinions and perspectives of people on an issue. You only need a notebook or a recording device to store the data.
Survey2connect is an online tool that you can use for gathering primary research data. It lets you collect and analyse data in real-time. The tool is free and easy to use. It lets you create a wide variety of questions to reduce data biasness and gather varied responses from researchers.
The above-mentioned tools are the easiest and cheapest ways to collect primary research data. These tools can help you gather a wide variety of data for your dissertation and help you generate reliable findings that will add credibility to your research.