Data and Statistics
Datasets & Statistics - What's the Difference?
The following is an example of a data set as it appears in a statistical software program. It is presented with all available variables in one file. The user can manipulate, aggregate and create descriptive statistics as needed.
Below is a visualization of the data set as statistics (percent of families receiving Temporary Cash Assistance [TANF] by neighborhood). Statistics are presented in an aggregate form already. This could be a table of frequencies, means, rates, charts or graphs. Statistics are information based on previously collected and analyzed data on which conclusions are drawn.
Which should I use?
When you want to strengthen a point for a presentation or paper, you would typically use available statistics or you might create your own (there are many table building tools available). If you're planning to test a hypothesis, develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, assess the effect of a particular treatment - or anything that would require in-depth analysis - then you need a dataset. Make sure that if you are using existing data or statistics (content that you didn't personally collect or analyze), that you check the authenticity of your sources and that you cite them according to proper conventions for your area of study.
About this guide
This guide is designed to help you find both statistics and datasets. Some of the resources provided are limited to the Johns Hopkins domain and will require you to log in with your JHED ID and password in order to use them. However, many data sources that are available from government agencies, think tanks, non-profits, etc. are open access. This guide is not exhaustive, but designed to provide you with a solid starting point on possible sources. If you are not finding what you are looking for, please email me for assistance (see the box on the left).
Access to Content
If you are on the Johns Hopkins "guest" wireless networks (on both Homewood and JHMI campuses) you will NOT always be able to view full content of subscribed databases unless you use the Virtual Private Network (VPN).