Nonpartisan, non-profit fact tanks, such as Pew Research Center, independently funded by trusts
Government statistical agencies, such as the Census Bureau, funded by the government
For-profit research companies, such as Gallup, contracted by individual businesses/ entities
Scholarly Research, published in academic journals, funded by individual colleges/universities
News Sources (television and print news)
Non-profit advocacy groups, such as the American Diabetes Association or Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Why Use Data?
Why Use Data?
Data can help us strengthen our argument.
Data, such as statistics and demographics can help us analyze trends and relationships between economic, social, cultural, and biological processes influencing a population.
Data can transform something abstract into something everyone can understand and relate to. For example, data can reveal how some abstract threat such as unemployment affects people based on their age, gender, or education. (From the Data Journalism Handbook)
Words of Caution
Just because we are interested in something doesn't mean there has been data collected on that topic.
Even when data has been collected, it may not be available. Some data is proprietary.
Be wary of the source of your statistics. Consider that numbers can be misleading and that data may be compromised for many reasons, including sponsor bias, method of conducting research, sample size, etc.