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Data and Statistical Portal: Key Concepts: Overview
Data and Statistics

Resources for data sets and statistics for public health and the health sciences.

Broad Categories


  • Counts are of individuals who are provided particular health services health-related events or services


  • Using sampling techniques to identify an appropriate survey population

Health Data on the Web

Statistical Information on the Internet:

  • Web sites are produced by organizations for a variety of purposes.

Statistical Information Not on the Internet:

  • In some cases only summaries or partial data sets are available, and the full sets must be purchased.

Finding Statistics and Data Sets on the Internet:

  • A portal or Research Guide is a gateway to other web sites.
  • A search engine is a computer program that retrieves documents, files or data from a database or from a computer network (especially from the Internet)

Important Features of Health Statistics and Data Sets

The Context of Health Statistics: Health statistics are collected to meet the needs of the collector.

  • Note: Read the notes describing the reasons for and methods of data collection.

Some information is collected in more than one survey and estimates of the same statistic may vary among surveys.

Key Features of Health Statistics:

  • Population based and collected/analyzed over time

Health Statistics Come from Diverse Sources:

  • Studies use administrative data: enrollment or eligibility information, claims information, and managed care encounters.
  • Surveys are designed to collect specific data and are often conducted by trained personnel who administer them by telephone or in-person.