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Finding Statistics: Business and Economics

The what and why of statistics

Statistics can help provide concrete examples of a larger trend, give the basis for an important chart or graph, or make theoretical arguments tangible.

There are two main branches of statistics:

  • Descriptive--concerns the numerical or quantitative data alone, and can help draw conclusions about a sample, rather than a population.
  • Inferential--concerns the conclusions drawn about an entire population which are infered through the results of a random sampling of a population

Be aware of bias in statistics! Numbers can be manipulated, and charts and graphs can be arranged to give a certain impression. Always double-check your facts!

Business and Economics

Business and Economics

If you're looking for statistics in the fields of business and economics, these are some great places to start.

  • EIU Country Intelligence 
    Provides in-depth statistical analysis of political and economic trends in 195 countries world-wide. Reports include country profiles, risk ratings, licensing and trade information as well as G-8 and regional forecasts.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
    Includes statistics on employment, prices and living conditions (e.g the Consumer Price Index), productivity, and more.
  • Hoovers Online 
    Provides detailed company information - key numbers, people, stock information, performance ratings, etc. - and also allows you to compare with industry-wide trends. Information is updated daily.
    Lexis-Nexis also contains detailed company information including financial statements as well as many news sources. 
  • International Monetary Fund: International Financial Statistics 
    A database for both international and domestic financial statistics. Includes tables for over 200 countries world-wide as well as current data on international exchange rates, interest rates, inflation, deflation, international banking, government accounts, etc.
  • U.S. Bureau of Transportation 
    Monitors trade, traffic data for automobiles, airlines, etc., travel, and more.
  • World Development Indicators
    Provides statistics on international economic development through the World Bank.
  • Economy at a Glance
  • U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • Budget of the United States Government