UTS Library


In this guide:

Data vs. Statistics

Data is the raw information (usually numbers) from which statistics are created. Statistics deals with gathering, organising, analysing and presenting quantitative data. Statistics helps us turn data into information.  They are used in everyday life in areas such as government, healthcare, business, and sport.

We use statistical information to:

  • Make sense of a large amount of data.
  • Explain activities or attitudes. 
  • Describe what is happening.
  • Investigate or discover a relationship among phenomena.
  • Explore issues.
  • Determine our future action.
  • Predict an outcome and test a hypothesis.
  • Present clear and convincing arguments.
  • Construct concepts and develop theories.
  • Draw conclusions about populations based only on sample results.
  • Make comparisons to find similarities and differences.
  • Allocate resources.
  • Monitor progress.
  • Develop evidence-based policies and programmes.
  • Strengthen your research conclusions.

Adapted from the following source:

Brown, R. B. 2008, Dealing with statistics: what you need to know, McGraw Hill, Maidenhead. 


Strategies for finding Statistics

Strategy 1: Use finding aids & recommended sites (see pages Business Statistics, Health Statistics, Humanities Statistics, Multi-subject Statistics, and SciTech Statistics pages) 

Strategy 2: Identify potential producers.

The best strategy for finding statistics is to identify the stakeholders and producers, and do a thorough search of their publications and web pages.

Who collects and publishes statistics?


  • Academic institutions.
  • Professional organisations.
  • Private sectors.

Adapted from the following source:

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Links to other Statistical Agencies & Related Sites, viewed 10 April 2013, <http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3310114.nsf/home/Links+to+Other+Statistical+Agencies+&+Related+Sites?opendocument#from-banner=LN>.