Is random error or systematic error worse?

Systematic error is generally a bigger problem in research.

With random error, multiple measurements will tend to cluster around the true value. When you’re collecting data from a large sample, the errors in different directions will cancel each other out.

Systematic errors are much more problematic because they can skew your data away from the true value. This can lead you to false conclusions (Type I and II errors) about the relationship between the variables you’re studying.