Skip to main content
This guide should:
- Help you to find information on your own
- Give you the terminology and basics needed to talk to experts, and get help, when you can't find what you want on your own.
- Give you some ideas about presenting information in video
What's the difference between data and stats? Does it matter?
Most people use these terms interchangeably. However, when working with librarians it helps to know what they think you might mean.
- Statistics are usually quick bits of information found in tables, charts, graphs, articles, and other sources.
- Statistics answer quantity questions.
- Statistics often don't have to be analyzed or explained.
- Data are often presented electronically in downloadable sets.
- Data can be "raw" if is has just be collected. For example, questionnaire responses may have to be entered into a spreadsheet before the data can be used. Spreadsheet information may have to be filtered and sorted before it makes sense.
- Data need to be analyzed and interpreted.
- FYI: The word data is a plural term. Scientists will often use phrases like, "These data indicated that..."
Asking the right questions
Data and Statistics are only meaningful when specific, especially in time and place.
Location: Where is it happening?
Time: When did it happen?
Duration: What is the period of time that it occurred?