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Dictionary

Secondary data analysis

PAULA DEVINE

Secondary data analysis involves the analysis of an existing dataset, which had previously been collected by another researcher, usually for a different research question. The collection of original data by a researcher is called primary data collection. Secondary data analysis is widely used by researchers undertaking analysis of quantitative data, and has begun to be applied to qualitative data. There are many advantages to undertaking secondary, rather than primary, analysis. (1) Savings in relation to resources, in terms of time, money and personnel. To begin with, using data collected by someone else means that the data is available relatively quickly. The researcher does not have to go through the long and costly processes of obtaining funding, designing and implementing their own survey, or paying for a sampling frame, conducting fieldwork, data preparation and data cleaning. The main cost in undertaking secondary analysis is that of obtaining the data. (2) Increased ...

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