Statistics are used to:
Attributes that you should be looking for when evaluating your 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
Surveys: deliberately requested information.
Administrative Records: statistics generated by doing regular business