Welcome to the Library Services guide to data and statistics. The aim of this guide is to highlight secondary data sources and associated support material in specific fields of study, provide suggestions for finding data more broadly and draw together useful guidance and contacts when it comes to text and data mining (TDM) and analysing, visualising, citing and managing data.
By using creative analytical techniques to high-quality data which have been gathered by others (saving you time and resources in the process), many interesting and important questions can be answered. For those engaged in primary data collection, reviewing the existing landscape can help you to formulate research questions and tentative hypotheses, and avoid duplicating existing work.
Data and statistics are terms which are often used interchangeably. However, data are the raw, individual facts derived from research, while statistics are the results of data analysis involving interpretation and presentation.
The UK Data Service offers comprehensive learning resources, training events and on-demand webinars related to several innovative aspects of data-intensive social science research. Whether you’re a new undergraduate or a veteran data analyst, there’s likely to be training or best practice guidance you’ll find useful.
From understanding more about how to use large national surveys, Census or qualitative data, through to numerous innovations, including those in modelling, simulation, big data, web-scraping, social media and more, they enable researchers at every level to access, manage and explore data: