This guide is meant to provide you with starting points for finding microdata, aggregate data, data analysis tools and more.
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Data are information or characteristics collected through observation, meaning there are many different types of data including:
Microdata are the individual responses or observations, before statistical analysis has been applied. Sometimes referred to as "raw" data. Microdata usually needs to be interpreted using analysis software. Microdata collected about people needs to be anonymized before they can be published for public use so specific individuals cannot be identified.
Unlike microdata, aggregate data, or statistics, are not in their 'raw form'. They are the result of statistical analysis, often compiled and presented in a summary report or a table. Totals, averages, and percentages are examples of aggregate data.
Data that includes geographic positioning information relative to a coordinate system. Geospatial data usually needs to be interpreted using GIS software.
Observations of the same variable made over time, such as climate data.
Systematically collected material consisting of written, printed, or electronically published words, typically either purposefully written or transcribed from speech.