Western Libraries

Data and Statistics

April 2020 revised content and layout of Data and Statistics Lib Guide

Map and Data Centre Hours

See the hours page.

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Data or Statistics?

Statistics are derived from data.  When deciding whether you need data or statistics ask yourself:

Do I need a fact or a number? (you likely need statistics)
Do I need to do analysis for my work? (you likely need data)

Data can be manipulated and analyzed while statistics are static and fixed.

There are two types of data; aggregate data and microdata.  Aggregate data are statistical summaries organized in a specific data file structure that permits further computer analysis, that is, data processing.  Microdata consist of the data directly observed or collected from a specific unit of observation.

Still confused? Click here for more in depth definitions of data terminology, or book an appointment for a data consultation..

You can also search for Canadian and International Data through odesi:

ODESI Search Box (type in search string below, eg. Census 2001)


Licensing Information

Access to most data files are governed by license agreements between Western and the agency distributing the data. Typically, the licenses permit use for teaching, research, and institutional planning within Western (or the affiliate colleges). Using files to generate income is not permitted unless explicitly allowed.