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Finding Statistics & Data

What is the difference between statistics and data?

The terms "data" and "statistics" are often used interchangeably. However, in practice, they mean two different things. Data is the information from which statistics are derived. Statistics is the interpretation of data using data analysis. Statistics are the numbers and percentages found in academic journal articles, magazines, and newspapers. Data sets must be collected or downloaded and independently analyzed. 

You need data if:

  • You are looking to create new knowledge and draw your own conclusions
  • You are going to be using a data analytics tool to analyze the data (examples: Microsoft Excel, SPSS, ArcGIS, SQL)

You need statistics if:

  • You need a quick number or percentage to support an argument in a research paper
  • The information that you're looking for can be provided in a table, chart, or other visualization

This How-To guide is a compilation of many different external websites that provide statistics and downloadable data sets. 

Need help finding data? Contact me!

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Sveta Stoytcheva
Loop Campus Library
DePaul Center, 10th Floor
(312) 362-5764