Finding Statistics

This guide will assist you to locate relevant statistics for your assignments.

Finding Statistics on a Topic

Use a search engine, such as Google, to locate statistics on the topic.

Topic example 1: Locating statistics on smoking incidence in Australia.

Keywords / Search terms: statistics smoking australia

Topic example 2: Locating statistics on communities in Australia.

Keywords / Search terms: statistics (demographic OR communit*) australia

Statistical Databases

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Help

The site contains a number of guides including:

Evaluation of Statistical Data

Ask the following questions when attempting to evaluate the statistical data:

Authority

Who is the author(s)? What are the author(s) qualifications/authority?

Date

What is the date range of the data and is it intended to be current or historical?

Purpose

Who is the intended audience? What type of publication is the data published in and is the data clearly represented?

Content

Are the statistics accurate? Can they be verified? Is there bias?

 

Note: Evaluation of statistical data and analysis of statistical data are two different things.

Evaluation is determining the quality of the data e.g. the research methodology used to gather the statistics, reliability of the research tool.  

Analysis provides the description of amounts, proportions and patterns in the data e.g. pie charts, standard deviations.