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BUS 120 Survey of Business Class Guide

Deciding What Kind of Data or Statistics You Need

First you need to decide whether you need Data or Statistics:

  • Statistics are the finalized reports of polls, surveys, and other information gathering techniques
  • Data are the raw form of statistical information - it's the data-sets, spreadsheets, and other formats of collected information

Then, you need to decide what area or region are you interested in:

  • Does your topic need international data? Or something particular like a country, state, or region?

Based on your geography, then you need to decide which organizations might collect that data:

  • Government organizations (like the Census Bureau or National Institute of Health), or international organizations (like the UN or World Bank) are good sources.
  • You may also find information from non-profit associations or organizations that cover a particular topic (like the American Library Association).

Finally, you should decide what time frame you are interested in:

  • If you want to be more current, then you may have more luck finding data 
  • If you want historic data (especially from the early 20th century and before), you may want to concentrate on archives. You might not be able to find the information as readily online.

Data/Statistics and Original Research

Some assignments might require research data, statistics, or another kinds of original research.

Some data sets might be available on the web. Look for government or international organizations (like the UN or World Bank), or for non-profit organizations who might have collected the data. 

Original Research articles can also be sources for primary source information and can be found in many of our databases. 

Below are links to example databases (that contain original research articles) and example data/statistics websites.