Welcome to this Guide on Statistics and where to find them in DkIT Library.
As with everything it's worth keeping a few things in mind when looking at statistics.
Who collected the data?
What was the data collected for?
What and/or who is actually being counted?
What is the time lag between collection and publication? Does that time lag matter?
How was the data collected and how reliable is that method?
When looking for statistics it helps to ask 'Who might be interested in or need this data?". Usually there are a number of agencies that need the raw statistics. These might include Government Departments, national agencies working in the area or with responsibility for the area, and advocacy/consumer groups who are impacted by the topic. Taking accident statistics as an example the Gardaí have a responsibility for road safety and so collect raw data. The Deptartment of Transport are concerned with all types of traffic and so will have data on car registration. The Road Safety Authority are concerned about safety on the road and so gather and analyse raw statistics to determine ways of improving safety on the road.