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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Data & Statistics

Data vs. Statistics?

Data is raw information that are analyzed to create statistics. It can be numeric/quantitative or qualitative or spatial/geospatial.

Statistics are data presented in a meaningful way, often in tabular, graphical or other visual format.

Types of health data

  • Surveys
    • Populations
    • Providers
  • Vital Statistics
    • births, deaths, marriages, divorces
  • Registriers
    • incidence and prevalence of diseases
  • Health records
    • Administrative
    • Patient 

Data Collection Mechanisms

Surveillance - Public health surveillance refers to the collection, analysis, and use of data to target public health prevention. It is the foundation of public health practice.

CDC Surveillance Resource Center
The Surveillance Resource Center provides members of the public health surveillance community organized, easy access to guidance developed by CDC and its partners for improving the practice of surveillance.


Surveys and Data Collection Systems
Includes Populations Surveys, Vital Records, Provider Surbeys and Historical Surveys

Data Resources from NIH and NLM

Non-Governmental Reseources for Data & Statistics