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    I Need Some Data

    by Meghan Kowalski on 2024-03-13T08:00:00-04:00 | 0 Comments

    Data is an important source of information in research. In this post, we’ll talk about what it is, why we use it, and where we can find it.  

    What is data?

    Data is collected information, statistics, or measurements. It might be quantitative, expressed in numbers. Or it might be qualitative, expressed in words or concepts. Some data is continually collected and reported, while other data is collected periodically or on a one-time basis. Data exists on a wide range of topics, and data from a recognized or authoritative source can typically be used in academic work. Many sets of data include the methodology behind the data collection.

    Why do we use data?

    Data can provide background or context to help us understand the significance of an issue or phenomenon. Some data can help us make comparisons, demonstrate trends over time, or understand the results of an experiment. Data can also provide evidence to support our arguments or opinions.

    Where can we find data?

    Data is gathered and published by researchers, governments, or non-governmental organizations. Usually, we find it online, through the organizations that collected the data, but some data may be behind paywalls or included in scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.

    The Library’s Data & Statistics research guide lists recommended library resources for data, such as Social Explorer and Statista. The guide also includes links to many online sources of data on specific topics, such as business and economics, criminal justice, education, and health.   


    Got questions about finding and using data? Get in touch! Visit us at the reference desk, email us, chat with us, or schedule an appointment with a librarian.


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