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Data & Statistics

Data and Statistics Research

Some Questions to Think About When Locating Data or Statistics

Time Period
Are you looking for the current year? A range of years? Remember that it takes some time to compile data. Do you need historical data?


Government agencies, academic and clinical researchers, data scientists, institutional repositories, commercial organizations like banks and businesses, trade associations, non-profits organizations, research collections like ICPSR, databases

What country, state, county, etc., might compile the data you want?


What data is likely to be available?


Is the data stored in a repository that you can access?



Statistics are your place for quick numbers.  They might answer the questions "how much" or "how many." 
Statistics result from data that have been interpreted then synthesized into a usable form.

Statistics can be in the form of numbers or percentages and they are frequently presented in a table or graph.

A statistical table might look like this one from the Statistical Abstract of the United States:

Or a table from Statista:

What are Data


What are data?

Data are plain facts, usually raw numbers.  Think of a spreadsheet full of numbers with no meaningful description.  In order for these numbers to become information, they must be interpreted to have meaning.

Who creates data?

Data can come from a government census or organization surveys or research studies. 

Why the ARE in "data are?"

  • Datum (singular form) - a piece of information
  • Data (plural form) - multiple pieces of information

Recognizing Data II

How will I know it is data?

A data file might look like this:

What forms does it take?

Data might be audio files, video, geospatial or digital content.

Data Conceptionalization

Can we conceptualize data?  Yes!


Courtesy: Domo