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 librarians' Twitter feeds for timings each week

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


Upcoming Data and Statistics events

Please note that all data classes are cancelled while the Library is closed due to the coronavirus situation. Please email your subject Academic Liaison Librarian for support with accessing data online.

Getting Started with Bloomberg

An introduction to the financial markets database, covering: what’s available, booking a terminal and setting up an account, finding your way around, getting help. Including Equities (GP, FA, SPLC, EQS); Equity Indices (WEI); Industries (BI); Economics (ECST, BECO).

Monday 9th March 12-1pm


Using Bloomberg with Excel

Covering exporting data from Bloomberg, downloading the Excel add-in, using the Spreadsheet Builder to import time series and static data, accessing templates, the basics of using formulas to build functions.

Attendees at this seminar should have previously attended Getting Started with Bloomberg, or have past experience using Bloomberg.

Monday 16th March 12-1pm


Bloomberg certification

An overview of the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) e-learning module: how to access and work through it, and how completing it can benefit employability, especially for those seeking careers in finance and investment. 

Thursday 26th March 12-12:30pm


Introduction to finding data and statistics

The session is aimed at providing you with an overview of the various datasets and statistical sources available to you. These include data on global economies, company financials (share price, market values, dividend yields, mergers and acquisitions, etc.) as well as on environment, social and governance (ESG).

Wednesday 11th March 11am-12noon


What's in...UK Data Service

The session introduces you to the UK Data Service, a comprehensive data source providing access to key economic and social data, both quantitative and qualitative. These include data on UK surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, population census, international macrodata, business microdata, and qualitative mixed methods.

Wednesday 18th March 12-1pm


For Bloomberg workshops at a later date, see the Bloomberg tab.

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.