What is Primary Research?

You might be wondering:

What is Primary Research?

Primary research is often used for the purposes of scientific, academic, or marketing research. Driscoll (2011) describes primary research as a methodology used by researchers to acquire data first-hand, rather than being gathered solely from published sources or past statistics. Entrepreneur (2015) defines primary research as information that comes directly from a source. Garner (2010) explains that primary research is often designed to meet the needs of clients. Kowalczyk (2015) defines primary research as original research, while secondary research is a reexamination of findings.

What makes this so special?

First off, primary research helps businesses and organizations make informed, research-based decisions. It is a way of gathering information and getting feedback about a program, product or service. Often, primary research identifies new opportunities for growth and areas for improvement.

For example:

A local school board wanted to increase the number of students enrolled in their second language programs. They conducted a series of interviews with parents of students who were not enrolled in a second language program. The interviews revealed parents were unaware of the academic benefits of second language programs offered at their local schools. The school board decided to conduct a mail-out campaign to explain the academic benefits of enrolling in second language programs. The result was an increase in second language program enrolment.


Primary research gives organizations the information they need to succeed. Knowledge gained can be used to evaluate program effectiveness and identify positive outcomes. Most importantly, primary research is a powerful tool to guide efficient and accountable decisions in today’s competitive environment.

Now it’s your turn.

Contact Us:

primaryresearchconsulting.com to learn more.


Driscoll, D. L. (2011). Introduction to Primary Research: Observations, Surveys, and Interviews

Entrepreneur. (2015). Small Business Encyclopedia: Primary Market Research.

Garner, S. (2010). Go Forth Institute: The Four Types of Primary Marketing Research.

Kowalczyk, D. (2015). Primary & Secondary Research: Definition, Differences & Methods.

Li, Y., Han, L., Xu, M., Guo, J., Feng, M., & Wang, X. (2014). The Primary Research on the Gut Microbes in KKAy Mice.