It refers to the statistical material which the investigator originates for himself for the purpose of the enquiry in hand. In other words, it is one which is collected by the investigator for the first time e.g. if the cost of living of workers in a city are to be computed, then the information regarding the facts collected by the investigators or enumerators would be termed as Primary data. In India there are various agencies which collect primary data e.g.. National Sample Survey (NSS), State Level Economic and Statistical Departments etc. When we use primary data, it is called raw material. According to Wessel, "Data originally collected in the process of investigation are known as primary data."
- Degree of accuracy is quite high.
- It does not require extra caution.
- It depicts the data in great detail.
- Primary source of data collection frequently includes definitions of various terms and units used.
- For some investigations, secondary data are not available.
- Collection of data requires a lot of time.
- It requires lot of finance.
- In some enquiries it is not possible to collect primary data.
- It requires a lot of labor.
- It requires a lot of skill.