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CLDV 34A - Befumo

Your guide to data, statistics, regulations, & laws for administering early childhood programs.

Data vs. Statistics

While the terms data and statistics are often used interchangeably, they are different.

  • Data are individual pieces of factual information recorded and used for the purpose of analysis. It is the raw information from which statistics are created. 
  • Statistics are the results of data analysis; it's the interpretation and presentation. In other words, some computation has taken place that provides some understanding of what the data means.

No Single Source

There is no single source / place where you can find data and statistics. This guide will offer some resources for finding statistics and data related to early childhood and early childhood education, but you may need to do some more searching online.

Search Terms

One strategy you can use online is to add the words data or statistics to your search.

Domain

You can also restrict results to government statistics and data by adding site:.gov to your search.

Questions to Ask

While including statistics can provide credibility to your argument, including faulty statistics can harm your argument.  You need to evaluate the source of your statistical information. The following questions will help you to evaluate the reliability of statistical information.

  • Who is the author or organization of the source that presents the statistics? What are the author's credentials or organization's purpose? Is the author or organization an authority on the subject? Could the author or organization be presenting bias?
  • What is the date of the statistics? How current are they? Are they relevant to the time period that you are interested in?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What type of publication is the data published in? Is the data clearly represented?
  • Can the data be cross-checked in other reliable sources?
  • Can the statistics be verified? Do the methods used and data presented seem valid?

Purdue OWL Guide

Purdue OWL's Writing with Statistics guide is a great resource for helping you work with statistics in your writing.

APA 7 Resources