Data and Statistics: Overview

Introduction

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. Use the help tools provided in individual databases

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

 

Library systems status

 

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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.