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Data, Datasets, and Statistical Resources

Data Producers

Numeric data are collected and disseminated by a variety of organizations, from think tanks to the national statistical offices of governments.

Thinking about these questions can be helpful in your data search:

  • Are these data likely to have been collected?
  • Who might have been interested in collecting these data?  
  • Would these individuals, organizations, or government agencies have reason to share these data?  Where?  Are these data available to me and where?

Academic researchers are collecting evidence to bring to bear on their hypotheses as you are doing in the course of your scholarship. Intergovernmental organizations such as the World Bank include data collection and dissemination in their mission.  Think tanks and nongovernmental organizations might collect and share data to further their communication and advocacy objectives. Governments collect a wide range of data on everything from their nation’s trade to censuses of populations.  

Keep in mind that not everything worth being counted is in fact yet counted, and data might be collected but kept proprietary or sold at prohibitive cost. Data that are shared might still be hard to access.