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Applied Analytics

This guide is designed to help students in the School for Professional Studies Applied Analytics Program, especially those working on their capstone projects.

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Sources listed for statistics contain the "numbers" generally sought for frequently asked questions such as population, income levels, trade figures, or gross domestic product calculations.

Datasets are files containing the quantitative data researchers use to conduct statistical analysis on a hypothesis or research problem.  Use the sites on this page to search for and identify existing datasets in repositories.

Locating Datasets

Will data analysis be part of your project? Using SPSS, R or another statistical software package? Great! But where will you find your data? Try the sources below, or contact your librarian!


The following sources are great places to start looking for U.S. federal statistics and international statistics on all subjects.

Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) Data & Statistical Sources

Every country collects data a little differently, and may have slightly different definitions for terms. IGOs take information reported by various countries and normalize them so comparisons can be made across countries and across time. If you ever want to compare two countries, IGO data should be your first choice if avaialble. (But it is still important to read about the methodology behind the data!)

If you are studying only one country, or need more detailed data or statistics than is provided by an IGO, the statistical department of a country's government may be your best source. See Northwestern University's list of foreign government websites, including statistical divisions for more.

U.S. Census

Looking for demographic and housing data from the U.S. Decennial Census? Start with the sources below and see the U.S. Census Information guide for more information.