It refers to the statistical material which is not originated by the investigator himself but obtained from some one else's records, or when Primary data is utilised for any other purpose at some subsequent enquiry it is termed as Secondary data. This type of data is generally taken from newspapers, magazines, bulletins, reports, journals etc. e.g. if the data published by RBI on currency, National Income, Exports or Imports, is used in some other statistical enquiry, it will be termed as Secondary data. According to M.M. Blair, "Secondary data are those already in existence for some other purpose than the answering of the question in hand."
- Use of secondary data is very convenient.
- It saves time and finance.
- In some enquiries primary data cannot be collected.
- Reliable secondary data are generally available for many investigations.
- It is very difficult to find sufficiently accurate secondary data.
- It is very difficult to find secondary data which exactly fulfils the need of present investigation.
- Extra caution is required to use secondary data.
- These are not available for all types of enquiries.