Data & Statistical Support Services

Data & Statistical Support Services

The University Library offers data manipulation and statistical support services to students, faculty and staff for assistance throughout the various phases of quantitative research projects. Contact Moataz Khalifa.

Retired Data Support Specialist Carol Hansen Karsch worked with Professor Blunch, co-authoring an on-line resource, The W&L Guide to Stata, which economics students find invaluable while working on their projects.

Once a source has been identified, the library can provide on-going support such as, but not limited to:

  • using documentation to verify the usefulness of data for a specific project
  • acquiring data from the internet, government agencies, databases subscribed to by the University Libraries, etc.
  • importing data into Stata, SPSS or Excel
  • converting data from one format to another, e.g., SPSS to Stata
  • merging files from various sources to create a research data file
  • manipulating file(s), such as reshaping panel data from horizontal to vertical
  • creating new variables, including dummy variables
  • recoding existing variables
  • running regressions
  • preparing tables, graphs and charts

Tips for Finding Data

Depending upon your topic, data may be readily available or it may require some creative searching to locate it. In fact, it may be unavailable to you! This is why it pays to locate data sources very early in a research project.

  • Use your Literature Review articles, did the researchers cite sources for the data they used?
  • Is the data: U.S. data, international data, country specific or from many different countries?
  • Who may have compiled the data: a governmental agency, a non-governmental organization, a researcher, etc.?
  • or StateMaster may be helpful, since the source for a selected statistic is given at the bottom of the table.

Once you locate a potential source for the data,

  • Is it freely available from a government agency or non-profit organization?
  • Is it available from one of the resources to which the University Library subscribes?

If your searches fail to find a source for the data,

  • Will the researchers make the data they used available to you?