Data and Statistics: Overview


The Library subscribes to several key databases which provide access to

  • economic and business news;
  • company, economic, and financial data from around the world;
  • data on small, medium and large UK and international business;
  • large-scale government surveys, qualitative studies and census data;
  • international macrodata and business microdata.

The Data and Statistics pages provide an overview of these databases and how to access them, including some trusted free resources available online. We also have a separate guide on market research:

Getting help with finding data / learning to use data resources

1. Check your timetable and/or emails to see if training has been organised for your course or module

2. Book onto one of the upcoming LibSmart data and statistics workshops (see below)

3. Use the help tools provided in individual databases

4. Drop by the LibSmart point in the Learning Commons (Brunel Library floor 1) Monday-Friday 1-5 to see a Librarian - check at the LibSmart point, or Librarian's Twitter feeds for timings each week

5. Book an appointment with your Subject Librarian, or email them - details on the Library guides

5. Come to a Financial Resources Suite drop-in (Library Floor 1) with the Business and Economics & Finance librarians, Alice Cann and Kanwal Virdee (these may not run every week due to other commitments - check on Twitter for details):

Tuesday 2-2:30 - with Alice

Thursday 2-2:30 - with Kanwal


Upcoming Data and Statistics events

Getting Started with Bloomberg

An introduction to the financial markets database, covering: what’s available, booking a terminal and setting up an account, how to find your way around, and how to get help.

Tuesday 20th November 12-1pm - EXTRA SESSION DUE TO DEMAND


Using Bloomberg with Excel

Covering exporting data from Bloomberg, downloading the Excel add-in, importing data using the Excel add-in, accessing templates, the basics of using formulas to build functions.

Tuesday 27th November 11:30am - 12:30pm


Bloomberg certification

An overview of the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) e-learning module including what it comprises of, how you can access it, and how BMC certification could improve your employability - including information on the Bloomberg Talent Search (BTS).

Thursday 15th November 12-12:30pm


Introduction to finding data and statistics

Wednesday 14th November 11:30am-12noon


What's in...UK Data Service

A practical session delving into the content of UK Data Service.

The UK Data Service is a comprehensive resource funded by the ESRC to support researchers, teachers and policymakers who depend on high-quality social and economic data. Here you will find a single point of access to a wide range of secondary data including large-scale government surveys, international macrodata, business microdata, qualitative studies looking at topics such as health, education and crime, and census data from 1971 to 2011.

Wednesday 14th November 12-1pm

Book financial data PCs

All bookings will take priority.

Latest @bbslibrarian tweets

What is data?

Data vs statistics

Data are raw ingredients from which statistics are created. Statistics are useful when you just need a few numbers to support an argument, for example, degree holders earned an average of £12,000 a year more than non-graduates over the past decade - ONS. Statistics are usually presented in tables and charts. Statistical analysis can be performed on raw data to show relationships among the variables collected.

Aggregate/macro data vs microdata

Aggregate or Macro Data are higher-level data that have been compiled from smaller units of data. For example, the Census data that you find on UK Data Service have been aggregated to preserve the confidentiality of individual respondents. Microdata contain individual cases, usually individual people, or in the case of Census data, individual households.

Data sets and studies

In data archives like UK Data Service a data set or study is made up of the raw data file and any related files, usually the codebook and setup files. The codebook is your guide to making sense of the raw data. For survey data, the codebook usually contains the actual questionnaire and the values for the responses to each question.