Glossary of Statistical Terms: Definition Raw data

Raw data or primary data are collected directly related to their object of study (statistical units). When people are the subject of an investigation, we may choose the form of a survey, an observation or an experiment.

Surveys especially present the advantage that they allow for a vast array of options in terms of analysis.

Only if we can access all of the primary data of a survey, i.e. the individual responses of all respondents on all issues of an investigation, can we calculate distributions or correlations and such. In contrast to raw data, we speak of secondary data if the data have already been aggregated and thus no longer contain all of the information of the original investigation. 

Please note that the definitions in our statistics encyclopedia are simplified explanations of terms. Our goal is to make the definitions accessible for a broad audience; thus it is possible that some definitions do not adhere entirely to scientific standards.

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