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Using Sources: Evaluating and Citing Sources: Using Statistical Data

This guide shows students what to do now that they have found information. The main purposes of this guide is to explain how to determine if an item meets their needs and how to incorporate the information into their assignment.

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Evaluating statistics

Not all statistics are created equal. You can ask the following questions in order to evaluate the reliability of a statistical data set.

 

Authenticity

Who published the data? What was their motivation for publishing it?

 

Authority

What are the qualifications and reputation of the author(s) of the data set?

 

Date

What is the date range of the data? Is it historical or current?

 

Content

How is the data presented? Is it clear?

 

Accuracy

Can the statistics be verified?  Do the methods used and data presented seem valid?

Data Visualization

Data visualizations are ways that data can be visually represented and presented, such as charts and graphs. There is an increasing number of data visualizations on the web that are innovate and even artistic.

You can use data visualizations to help you better understand large data sets, or you can create your own visualizations to help others understand your data.


Learn more about data visualization and the data visualization community, and see examples of snazzy looking data.