Primary data is information collected through original or first-hand research. For example, surveys and focus group discussions. On the other hand, secondary data is information which has been collected in the past by someone else. For example, researching the internet, newspaper articles and company reports.
The objective of any study defines whether primary or secondary data is to be collected. For example, if a company intends to enter into women’s apparel and wants the India market size, then it can resort to secondary data like industry reports & newspaper articles while if it wants to study the preference of consumers for a new type of fabric/style, then it must conduct primary research like surveys.
Usually, collection of primary data is costly & more time-consuming than secondary data but it serves a specific need and control biases.