Find statistics and data for your own work
What do I need — statistics or data?
When you begin your search, you will need to determine if you need prepared statistics or raw datasets.
- Statistics refers to data that has already been analyzed. Statistics provide powerful evidence that can help you support a position or argument.
- If you want to do your own analysis, then you need data. Datasets are data that has been collected by someone else.
Some data and statistics are available freely online from government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions. The Statistics & Data by Topic page in this guide lists some of these resources.
Walden students have access to several collections of data and statistics.
Note: ICPSR is available through the Office of Research and Doctoral Services. Please contact them with any questions about ICPSR.
Types of statistics & data
- standardized reporting and information collection from a wide variety of institutions
- legally mandated data and statistics
- unbiased and trustworthy source of data
- more specialized data amd published results
- often non-profits with findings released to the public for free.
- useful for data about an industry or profession
- results may be available to everyone, or just members
- potential bias
- useful for data not available in other resources or locations
- studies collect data from smaller cohorts or groups
- review data for bias and quality.
A note on using statistics & data
It is important to note that formatted charts, graphs, and tables are protected under copyright. That means you cannot reproduce them in your own works without explicit permission from the original copyright holder or holders.
You are not allowed to reproduce an entire table without explicit copyright permission or licensing from the creator.
If you would like to use a copyright protected chart, graph, or table, a good first step is to contact the publisher of the book, journal, or report in which it appears. Many publishers are supportive of student researchers and have processes in place for securing permission.
While you can't reproduce charts, tables or graphs, you can cite statistical data in-text with proper attribution. For example, you can share that in 2009, only 27.4% of adults in the United States ate three or more servings of vegetables each day (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2009). Be sure the statistic is accompanied by a reference to the original source.
You can find books about statistics in the Library's e-book collection. Use the search below to find encyclopedias or e-books on your topic.
The books listed below are suggested reading materials than can provide an overview and greater understanding of statistics.