Secondary Analysis of Data
Primary research involves data collection and analysis, whereas secondary data analysis is the use of data that have already been collected for another purpose (Fortune & McBee, 1984; Kiecolt & Nathan, 1985). Most of the chapters in this volume refer to specific research techniques. However, secondary analysis does not refer to a specific statistical technique; it simply refers to the kind of data used (Kiecolt & Nathan, 1985). Secondary analysis can be useful for researchers, practitioners, and/or doctoral candidates writing dissertations who are interested in studying higher education settings. Collecting primary data on college students can be an expensive and time-consuming activity. Given the myriad ways in which many institutions collect data on students, it may be possible to use data collected for another purpose, to analyze for a particular unit’s goals and aims (this is discussed extensively in chapter 12).