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Need some data, but don't know where to start?
Consider these questions:
- Do you need data or statistics?
- Have you seen the data you want published anywhere before?
If Yes, refer back to that publication to find the data source.
If No, continue to step 3.
- Who may have collected this data?
- Government organization
- Academic researcher
- Non-profit or NGO
- Private company
- Industry Association
- Where can I access it?
Is the data available freely online through the collector/producer's website?
Is the data available through one of the Library's subscription databases?
Is the data for sale, and can be purchased?
Can the collector/producer of the data be contacted directly to get the data?
Data vs. Statistics
- What is Data?
- Data are the raw ingredients of statistics. Data are un-interpreted pieces of information, the result of systematic observation or experimentation.
- Data is most frequently used by graduate students and faculty who are doing secondary analysis. This analysis often requires the use of a statistical software package, such as SPSS, SAS, Stata, R, etc.
- What are Statistics?
- Statistics, or aggregated data, is data that has had a layer of analysis applied to it. This often takes the form of something like: 87% of all American adults are internet users, according to the Pew Research Center.
- Statistics are most frequently used by all researchers who are trying to support an argument.
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