Statistics help organize, visualize, interpret, and analyze data. Researchers, consumers, business owners, scientists, economists, and mathematicians, to name a few, need to understand statistics to evaluate the importance and value of information and understand trends. Statistics also provide credibility to data. Statistics are presented in a variety of formats to better understand the data – a chart or graph can say more than a whole paragraph of text.

Associations, government entities, news articles, and commercial aggregators of statistics can be very helpful tools when looking for statistics on a particular topic.  Aggregators that also provide access to the underlying source documents are an added benefit.

The US Census Bureau provides a wide range of statistics and reports. A good source is the American Fact Finder which provides access to data about the United States, Puerto Rico and Island areas and includes population estimates, housing surveys, community information, and detailed information about state and local governments. The PEW Research Center is another source for such topics as media trends, Internet and technology, science, and politics.  Datasets are free to download.

A commercial subscription aggregator of interest is Statista. The company provides statistics, market research and business intelligence on industries, consumers, and emerging trends. The consumer market has an international scope. In addition to charts and graphs, Statista provides access to studies, industry reports and topic dossiers.

At Access/Information we incorporate statistics into our business reports. Our clients find that the visual charts provide a quick overview and assist them in their decision-making process.