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Business & Economics Statistics

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Key Databases

The following are databases recommended for finding data and statistics in the areas of Business and Economics

Statistics and their uses

Statistics are used to:

  • provide a description
    • answering the question about the scale or scope of something observable and its characteristics
  • make a comparison
    • establishing the degree of similarity or dissimilarity among observables
  • identify a relationship
    • looking at the correlation among characteristics of observables; how things are related

Assessing Statistics

Attributes that you should be looking for when evaluating your statistics:

  1. Relevence
    - How does the statistic reflect the needs of its clients and user
  2. Accuracy
    - Does the statistic accurately define the phenomenon that it was trying to measure?
  3. Timeliness
    - How long is the delay between the data gathering phase and the publishing phase?
  4. Accessibility
    - How findable is the statistic? Is it behind a pay wall?
  5. Interpretability
    - How much available documentation comes with the statistic? Definition? Data gathering methodology?
  6. Coherence
    - Does the statistic successfully verify similiar surveys?

Finding Statistics

Finding statistics is not easy.  There are generally two approaches, which are often used in combination with each other.

Publisher Strategy: identify an organization that would produce and publish such a statistic. Knowledge of government structure, areas of jurisdication and context is key.

Data Strategy: identify a data source from which the statistics were derived.

image credit: Chuck Humphrey, Data Library Coordinator, University of Alberta


Official Statistics: produced by government bodies (such as Statistics Canada) and some international or inter-governmental agencies (such as the U.N.)

Non-Offical Statistics: produced by other bodies, including trade associations, professional organizations, banks, consultants, marketing companies, academic institutions, etc

Types of Statistics

Statistical Types
Surveys Administrative Records
  • Census
  • Labour Force Survey
  • General Social Survey
  • National Household Survey
  • Aboriginal Peoples Survey
  • etc....
  • Vital Statistics
  • Hospital Morbidity
  • Crime Reports
  • Court Reports
  • Income Statistics
  • etc...


Surveys: deliberately requested information.

Administrative Records: statistics generated by doing regular business

Canadian Statistics

Key Canadian Statistics

Business and Economic Statistical Sources by Subject

  • daily rates for the past 60 days; weekly rates for the past 60 weeks; monthly rates for the past 60 months, downloadable.
  • Bank Rate, prime rate, mortgage, GIC's, etc. changes, 10+ years, downloadable.
  • select Treasury Bills Yields to obtain daily, weekly and monthly yields for 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year bills.
  • click on Selected Historical Interest Rates for monthly bank rates (1935 - ) and average yields for 3- (Mr.1934- ) and 6-month (May 1959- ) treasury bill auctions (pdfs).
  • search for "interest rates" as an exact phrase.

- Banks release statements/reports on economic forecast

Provincial Statistics

Local Statistics


International Resources

Open Data

What is Open Data?

Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.

Open Data characteristics:

  • Availability and Access: the data must be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.
  • Reuse and Redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit reuse and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.
  • Universal Participation: everyone must be able to use, reuse and redistribute - there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavour or against persons or groups. For example, ‘non-commercial’ restrictions that would prevent ‘commercial’ use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes (e.g. only in education), are not allowed.

Source: Open Data Handbook. (2012). What is Open Data? — Open Data Handbook. Retrieved February 26, 2015, from

Open Data Sources





Survey Products

Some of the following statistical sources are available only through the TRU Library's DLI / Data Services Librarian Browse DLI survey products and descriptions on the Statistics Canada DLI website.

Statistical Software Resources