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Statistics & Data

Terminology

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. These are called Public Use Microdata Files or PUMFs.

  • Best bet for finding microdata: Odesi

Statistics (Aggregate Data): 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. Percentages, averages, and ratios are examples of aggregate data.

Geospatial Data: Data that includes geographic positioning information relative to a coordinate system. Geospatial data usually needs to be interpreted using GIS software.

Time Series Data: Observations of the same variable made over time, such as climate data.

Textual Data: Systematically collected material consisting of written, printed, or electronically published words, typically either purposefully written or transcribed from speech.

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