International Statistics: Common Problems

Common Problems

The data I am finding are not in English.

Submit an Ask a Librarian research help request asking for assistance with searching in a foreign language.  Many employees at the Marriott Library are fluent in foreign languages.

The data I am finding are not specific enough.

This is a difficult situation to fix.  In many cases statistical data is not as specific as people want.  If official data sources are not specific enough you may have to turn to purchasing data from a trade group or commercial business.  For example the US government collects statistics on managers, but does not distinguish between middle and upper management.  If you are looking for data on middle managers you may need to purchase information from a company that has surveyed middle managers.

I need data for a longer period of time that I can find.

Many people want to see data for a 10, 20, 50, or 100+ time period.  Often this is difficult because on line databases may not have digital data as far back as you want.  You can try to find the source of the digital data and see if there is a historic print run that goes back far enough.  You may find that the data was published under different titles over time before it because a database.  Sometime the data simply wasn't published for or in the years that you may want.

I need data for some countries that I can't find.

Some countries have a poor history of data collection, or have historical events that created a gap in data collection.  North Korea is a difficult country to for which to get detailed statistical data.  Sometimes you just can't find the data because no one has collected it.

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