In many disciplines, including Asian Pacific Studies, data and statistics are used to identify and explore larger trends about what the researcher is studying. While people often consider numbers and other quantitative data to be "neutral," data analysis is a very human process by which researchers apply their own methods, perspectives, and beliefs to information and then evaluate the results. To learn more about statistical research methods just scroll down!
Datasets are the raw pieces of information that are collected through surveys and other research tools and analyzed through statistics like "55% of state prisoners were serving sentences for violent offenses at year-end 2016" (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2017). Researchers publish statistics from individual studies in academic journal articles, but comprehensive statistics are also collected by non-profit research groups and government agencies at the local, state, national, and international level and published on the web for the public.
When would I need to find statistics and datasets? If you're working on a research project about a community or social issue, you might use statistics collected by nonprofit or government researcher to describe your population/problem and show why its important.
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