How will the data be sourced?
Data can be sourced directly or indirectly.
Direct methods of data collection involve collecting new data for a specific study. This type of data is known as primary data.
Indirect methods of data collection involve sourcing and accessing existing data that were not originally collected for the purpose of the study. This type of data is known as secondary data.
How are direct data sourced?
A survey involves collecting information from every unit in the population (a census), or from a subset of units (a sample) from the population.
A respondent provides data about oneself as a unit, or as a representative of another unit in a population.
Methods of direct data collection include:
How are indirect data sourced?
Administrative data are collected as part of the day to day processes and record keeping of organisations. Administrative data, such as historical data or public records, include: school enrolments; hospital admissions; records of births, deaths, and marriages. The data are not collected initially for statistical purposes but can be organised to produce statistics.
Administrative data can be useful because this data are usually recorded about every unit of the population of interest and are continuously collected, allowing comparisons to be made over time. Where administrative data are available, this may eliminate the need to conduct a survey provided the data are fit for the statistical purpose.