Skip to Main Content

Finding Data and Statistics

Discover reliable sources of data and statistics.

Strategic approach

Finding the right data for your research is easiest when you have a well-thought-out strategy.

1. Define Your Needs

Before you start searching, get clear on what you're looking for:

  • Research question: What specific question are you trying to answer with data?
  • Unit of analysis: Who or what are you studying? (Individuals, organizations, countries, etc.)
  • Time period: Do you need current data, historical data, or data over a specific time span?
  • Geographic location: What geographic area are you interested in? (Country, state, city, etc.)
  • Type of data: Are you looking for quantitative data, qualitative data, or both?

2. Identify Potential Data Sources

Think about who might collect the data you need:

  • Government agencies: Often collect data on demographics, economics, health, and more.
  • Nonprofit organizations: May have data on specific issues or populations they work with.
  • Private companies and industry groups: Might collect data relevant to their business or field.
  • Academic researchers: Often share research datasets collected for studies and publications.

3. Start Your Search

There are many possible places to search for data:

  • Data search engines, archives, databases: Use the recommended links on this guide and on library subject guides to find reliable data sources
  • Research data repositories: These platforms curate collections of datasets from various sources. (e.g., ICPSR, data.gov, re3data.org)
  • Agency and organization websites: If they data was collected by a particular government agency, a company, or non-profit organization, it may be available on their website.
  • Publications: Look for articles or reports that cite the data you're interested in.

Need More Help?
Subject librarians and specialists at the library can help you find and access data. Contact them or email asktulibrary@temple.edu for personalized assistance.