In daily conversation, "data" and "statistics" are often used interchangeably, but these are not the same! Data are the raw numbers used to create statistics, while statistics are a way of interpreting or summarizing data.
Ask yourself these two questions when searching for data and statistics:
1. Who might collect and publish this type of data?
Government agencies, state agencies, non-profits, for-profits, and academic institutions regularly conduct and publish research. If you are not sure where to find data/statistics, try to discover the group or agency most likely to collect and publish that information. For example, if you are looking for data on crop yields in the United States, the Department of Agriculture (its website and publications) might be a good place to start.
2. What type of publications would cite this data?
If you can't find data/statistics through one of our databases or freely online, try searching for academic articles that would cite the type of information you hope to find. For example, search JSTOR or Academic OneFile for "corn AND iowa AND statistics" might help you find articles that mention sources of data/statistics about corn crops in Iowa.