Business: Business Statistics
BUSINESS STATISTICS II: Selected Resources for Data Analysis Projects
Reminder: If you are off campus, please login through Blackboard and click through to the Libraries of the USF System homepage.
Finding library databases (for datasets, journal articles, etc.):
From the Libraries of the USF System homepage, under the tab “Resources,” click on “Databases by Title/Subject.” Enter the name of a database (“by title”) or search by subject area (for example, “business and economics”).
Selected Library Databases: Datasets
There is no precise list of library databases with datasets. Highlighted below are a few key databases in the library collection (many are also publicly-available web sites):
The Statistical Abstract is “the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.” The links on the left provide an overview of the types of government data available – a great starting point! Although most of the tables present statistics (not datasets), each table also includes the source agency with a direct link to more data.
ICPSR data access and analysis (USF subscription)
ICPSR – the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research – is a member-based organization within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. ICPSR “maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction.” Email registration is required. SPSS, SAS or Stata may be required to access the datasets. The links to related literature (articles and reports) can be very useful (even if you get your dataset from elsewhere). This “data-related literature” can be searched separately. Also see the “Data Use Tutorial” and “citing electronic data files.”
OECD iLibrary (USF subscription)
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an international organization with 30 member countries, publishes widely in the areas of economics, social issues, and public policy. In addition to books, reports, and periodicals, there is a collection of about 26 statistical databases to search and download. OECD.Stat is a new feature (beta through September 2008) that allows searching across the various OECD databases.
You may also try the following strategy to locate other library databases: (1) From the Libraries of the USF System homepage, select “Databases by Title/Subject”. In “Find Database by title”, type: data OR statistics. You should see a list of about 51 databases across all disciplines that contain either the word “data” or the word “statistics”. Click on the little “i” for more information about a database before you open it.
SELECTED OTHER WEB SITES and STRATEGIES:
Try the websites bookmarked in this del.icio.us account (http://del.icio.us/marcylibrarian), where you will find an an annotated list of business-related web sites. Scroll down and select the tag “datasets” or “statistics” to view lists of relevant web sites such as NationMaster, FRED (Federal Reserve), IMF, PovertyNet, the World Bank, etc.
For example, select Statistical Resources (University of Michigan Library) for a list of web-based statistical resources by broad subject category. Some of these sites provide access to downloadable datasets; most offer statistical reports and other information.
Or, try an advanced search in Google for your topic of interest (e.g., sports or candy), combined with keywords such as statistics, datasets, research, etc. A disadvantage to this approach is that you may be led to resources that are only available for purchase (e.g., “American Sports Data Inc.” research reports).
Or, try the USF Library catalog to identify useful print books or ebooks in the library collection. (Of course, this method might necessitate re-keying all of the data.) For example: Search “statistics” (subject heading) and “baseball” (anywhere) and you find an entry for the print book, Baseball Register.
SELECTED DATABASES: Articles from Scholarly Journals
In addition to the datasets you will use for statistical analysis, you will also need articles from scholarly journals to support your argument. Below are two of the hundreds of databases you might find useful:
This is a premier business database which provides access to a wide variety of business literature, covering nearly 1800 business periodicals and scholarly journals, as well as the Wall Street Journal.
From the American Economic Association, “EconLit” is an expanded version of the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL), with references dating back to 1969.
For help on citing sources, there is a list of linked style guides available from the main Libraries of the USF System web page: click on the red tab “resources”, then “citing sources”. APA is the citation style most commonly used in the business fields but you should always use the style recommended by your instructor. One of the more popular guides on the long list is the “APA Formatting & Style Guide - Purdue University”.
There are also handouts and citation style books available in the library – just ask at the reference desk.
Remember, you may contact a Reference Librarian in person, by phone (727/873-4124), or via chat (from the Ask a Librarian link on the Libraries of the USF System web site). Or, feel free to email me directly with any questions or to set up an appointment to discuss your research.
Updated: May 2009
Gary L. Austin