Skip to Main Content

Statistics and Data

A guide to popular statistical and data resources.

Statistics vs data

What's the difference between statistics and data*? 


  • Someone's interpretation of raw numbers

  • Reported numbers in an article, book, tweet, webpage, or other type of publication

  • Presented in published tables, graphs, or charts

  • Does not require use of a data analysis program 


  • Collections of raw numbers in the form of data sets

  • Sometimes described as "machine readable data files"

  • Requires use of a data analysis program such as Excel, SPSS, R, etc.

  • Often includes supporting documentation such as codebooks and release notes

* Based on sources such as the guides Finding Data and Statistics from Lenoir-Rhyne University Libraries and Statistics: Finding Data and Statistics from Loyola University Chicago Libraries.   


Statistics example

(from the database, ProQuest Statistical Abstracts of the U.S.)

Table 440: Willdland Fires, Number, and Acres: 1970 to 2021










Data example

(from the General Social Survey, viewed in SPSS)

General Social Survey data