Data Week: Finding the right data

Insights from National Love Your Data Week

Courtney (Vidacovich) Donovan, PhD | Senior Research Instructor
Faculty Research Center Director


Message of the day: Have a clear question and locate quality data sources.

Need to find the right data?

  • In a 2004 Science Daily News article, the National Science Foundation used the phrase “here there be data” to highlight the exploratory nature of traversing the “untamed” scientific data landscape. The use of that phrase harkens to older maps of the world where unexplored territories or areas on maps bore the warning ‘here, there be [insert mythical creatures]’ to alert explorers to the dangers of the unknown. While the research data landscape is (slightly) less foreboding, there’s still an adventurous quality to looking for research data!

How the Research Center can help!

  • While open source, secondary data is great most of us are collecting our own data. Collecting the right data is specifically vital with surveys where you have specific analysis in mind.  If you are just describing data then category questions are great, but if you want to do inferential statistics be sure you have continuous data!
  • We can also do a review of your qualitative protocols considering the same ideas. Lots of review is helpful to ensure you are asking questions in a manner that will gather the needed data for your research question!
  • Click HERE to see how else we can help you with research!

**Adapted from