Pros and cons of secondary research

Secondary research involves collecting, documenting and presenting data that is already available in stored format rather than collecting the raw data from primary sources. Secondary research is mainly preferred in circumstances where the time needed for the research is limited and the cost of doing the research is also limited. Below are some of the pros and cons of secondary research.


1. Saves time: Secondary research saves time because it requires very little time to collect the information which is already available in sources such as the internet and other documents such as books.

2. It is cost effective: Secondary research is cost effective since it does not require a lot of money to collect the data. There is no need to do research from scratch as the data has already been collected and documented.

3. The data is usually very extensive: Secondary research avails data that has already been analyzed and comparison made which makes the data extensive and sufficient in most cases.

4. It gives the basis of primary research: Secondary research avails data that can be used to analyze and determine the basis of primary research hence helps give background data of the research.

5. Easy to access:
Data related to Secondary research is readily available hence easy to access. It can be sourced directly from the internet at the comfort of the desktop or from document such as text books.

6. May help in clarifying the research question: Secondary research has refined data that may be used to clarify the research question. Through the data available, one can be able to track back and determine what the research question was.

7. It gives insights into the primary research: Secondary research will also help in giving a more comprehensive insight into what the primary research was all about.

8. It is easy to compare data: It is much easier to compare the data available in secondary research because the data has already been refined and analyzed.

9. It is easy to mine data: Secondary research gives the researcher an opportunity to mine data from different sources and therefore makes the data more available.

10. Secondary data is already refined: The data collected during the Secondary research is data that has already been refined and analyzed. It is data that is ready to be used.



1. Primary definition: Secondary research contains data that requires the user to understand the primary research definition of terms before they can comprehend the data.

2. Data inaccuracy: The data collected in a Secondary research can often be inaccurate and not up to date which means that it may not always be relevant.

3. Time lag issues: There are issues of delay and stale data when dealing with secondary data and it may not apply to the current situation.

4. It may not be specific: The data collection using Secondary research methods may not be specific to the subject under study which means additional research needs to be done.

5. The information may be incomplete: The data collected when conducting Secondary research will not always be sufficient or complete.

6. Quality of the researcher: Secondary research requires that the primary researcher should have been very qualitative and that the data available is of high quality and can be used in a proper and relevant manner.

7. The data is not timely: The data collected during Secondary research is not timely and in most cases the data may be outdated.

8. The data may be inappropriate: The data available during Secondary research can always be inappropriate and this makes the process of conducting Secondary research irrelevant.

9. Lack of control over the quality of the data: It is difficult to control the quality of the data available during Secondary research as opposed to primary research where you do most of the work.

10. The data is biased: The data available in secondary research is often biased owing to the fact that the primary researcher was trying to satisfy his/her own data needs.


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