What are data?
Data are plain facts, usually raw numbers. Think of a spreadsheet full of numbers with no meaningful description. In order for these numbers to become information, they must be interpreted to have meaning.
Who creates data?
Data can come from a government census or organization surveys or research studies.
Why the ARE in "data are?"
Can we conceptualize data? Yes!
Statistics are your place for quick numbers. They might answer the questions "how much" or "how many."
Statistics result from data that have been interpreted.
Statistics can be in the form of numbers or percentages and they are frequently presented in a table or graph.
A statistical table might look like this one from the Statistical Abstract of the United States:
Some Questions to Think About When Locating Data or Statistics
Are you looking for the current year? Remember that is takes some time to compile data. A range of years? Do you need historical data?
What country, state, county, etc., might compile the data you want?
databases, government agencies, researchers, research collections like ICPSR
What data is likely to be available?
Where is the data likely to be located?