Data collection is the methodological process of gathering information about a specific subject. It’s crucial to ensure your data is complete during the collection phase and that it’s collected legally and ethically. If not, your analysis won’t be accurate and could have far-reaching consequences.
In general, there are three types of data:
Before collecting data, there are several factors you need to define:
The data collection method you select should be based on the question you want to answer, the type of data you need, your timeframe, and your budget.
When looking for data, you may also consider:
The U.S. federal government is one of the largest data producers in the world. There are 13 federal statistical agencies all of which produce and publish data for public use. What's included below are only a few U.S. public data resources available.
Looking for data outside the U.S.? Below are collections from international NGOs and other entities.
In addition to these data resources, many countries are adopting open data policies and publishing their data to the web. Trying searching the country's name and open data and you may find what you're looking for. Here are a few examples of international open data resources. Do note that international websites and datasets may not be published in English, but instead in the country's language.