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Data Daze. Statistics Canada and DLI Data. What is (are) Data?. Data are what statistics are derived from

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Data daze

Data Daze

Statistics Canada and DLI Data

What is are data

What is (are) Data?

  • Data are what statistics are derived from

  • In the case of Statistics Canada, Data are files that have been anonomized and organized in a file where the records in the file represent the responses to survey questions of each individual respondent

  • Not human readable!

Statistics or data

Statistics or Data?

Size concerns

Size Concerns

  • Data files can contain <10,000 to 50,000+ records

  • Records can contain <50 to 1,000+ variables

    • Can be as few as 50 to over 2000 bytes in length

  • Documentation can consist of 50 to 600+ pages

Dli data available

DLI Data Available

  • DLI Products include:

    • Public Use Micro Data Files (PUMFs)

    • Census/Geography Files

    • Databases

  • DLI also contains some aggregate data in B2020 and other formats

    • Canadian Business Patterns

    • Justice Tables

  • Many (but not all) DLI products are in the Catalogue

How to recognize data questions

How to recognize data questions

  • “I need this data file, please”

  • Need data to manipulate for an assignment

  • Geographic level of analysis

  • Variable level of analysis

  • Looking to combine a series of variables

  • “I need numbers on…”

Data daze

Statistical Information available through Statistics Canada







Different Services



Data Liberation


Remote Job

Research Data


Canada Website



Tabulations &




Pay per View

Who is

General Public:






Eligible &

DSP Libraries




available on the

contract between

Internet at

STC and


& their Users:

restricted to

contract between

SSHRC peer


teaching and

STC and

review & deemed

available on site

research purposes


STC employee

- The Daily

- Paper publica-

Standard data

Tables from

“Dummy” or

Confidential data

- Canadian



confidential files

synthetic files to

files from the



- Electronic pub-

aggregate data

that are specially

build analysis


- Census

lications, which

bases, microdata

produced by

setups that must

surveys begun in

- Statistical profiles

includes priced

files and

Statistics Canada

then be submitted

the 1990’s

of Canadian


geography files

for a fee and

to Stats Can for


publications &

access to


- Downloadable

select CD ROMS




Warning: some

Some DSP

Interface to



parts of the Website

libraries provide


databases include

off-site access to

Trade Analyzer

are fee-based


available through

CHASS (University


of Toronto) by



Services available

Applications can

for selected titles.

now be submitted


Remote job

through the

submission is the

Trade Analyzer

SSHRC Web site.

most developed

for NPHS.



  • A student comes to the desk asking how many people in St. John’s use the Internet for banking

Would stc collect this data

Would STC collect this data?

  • Socio-Economic data

  • No company information

  • Not always the best choice (e.g., Heath= CIHI, Business= Strategis)


The daily

The Daily

  • First stop for information

  • It is legally required to announce every piece of information released by STC in the Daily

  • Searchable

  • Provides highlights of the release as well as links to more information

Estat vs cansim



    • Nicer interface (IMHO)

    • Easier to select multiple variables

    • Easier to obtain longitudinal data

    • Subset of CANSIM

    • Updated annually


    • Contains all CANSIM tables

    • Can browse by Table Number

    • Updated weekly

If it s a data question

If it’s a Data Question…

  • You need to determine three things:

    • Is the patron a current student, staff or faculty member?

    • Is the patron familiar with statistical software and analytical techniques?

    • Does the use of the data fall under the terms of the data licence?

Dli licence

DLI Licence

  • Under this licence data are made available for:

    • Teaching

    • Planning of academic/educational services

    • Academic Research and Publishing

  • Use of data in textbooks falls under a different set of STC licences and permissions

  • Data are not to be used in any commercial or private activities (even if no money is involved)

  • Data cannot be shared outside the institution

Is the data available

Is the Data Available?

  • STC Our Products and Services catalogue will tell you if a product is available through the DLI

  • Look for “information for libraries”

  • Public Use Data File = PUMF = DLI Data

Getting the data

Getting the Data

  • IDLS

    • Non-assisted interface for data

    • Does not contain all DLI data

    • Provides Codebooks and SPSS/SAS Syntax files

    • If our patrons can use it, we need how to as well!

Variable searching in idls

Variable Searching in IDLS

  • IDLS allows you to search through the questions asked in STC surveys

  • Great if you have a really obscure question – “I want sales of children's shoes…”

Census tables in idls

Census Tables in IDLS

  • Thousands of B2020 census tables are available in IDLS

  • Back to 1986

  • Free download of B2020 viewer available at:

  • Great searching!

Summary dli

Summary – DLI

  • Raw data PUMFs

    • Contain more detail than other STC products

    • Not every survey has a PUMF released

    • PUMFs need to be massaged using statistical software

    • Find them:

      • Library Catalogue

      • STC Catalogue (Products and Services)

      • IDLS

Summary dli1

Summary - DLI

  • Aggregate Data

    • Collection of B2020 tables and databases

    • Often derived from reported statistics (i.e. Justice tables, Business)

    • Find them:

      • Library Catalogue

      • STC Catalogue (Products and Services)

      • IDLS

Summary dli2

Summary - DLI

  • Geospatial Products

    • Majority are census files

    • Available in ArcView and MapInfo formats

    • Find them:

      • IDLS

Summary licenced users

Summary – Licenced Users

  • Before you refer a patron for data services, ensure:

    • They are a current student, staff or faculty member of Memorial

    • They are familiar with SPSS or other statistical software package (or have a resource to help)

Summary idls

Summary – IDLS

  • Contains:

    • DLI PUMFs & other products

    • Census Tables

    • Other free data

  • Searchable by:

    • Browse (or search) by name/subject of product

    • Variable keyword

    • File type

    • Lots more!

Summary search techniques

Summary – Search Techniques

  • To know if something exists:

    • The Daily

    • Catalogue of Products & Services (show information for libraries)

  • To find it:

    • CANSIM/ESTAT (longitudinal, census)

    • Census webpage (lots of free data)

    • Community profiles (basic demographic data, census)

    • Analytical reports

    • Print publications

  • If the survey exists, but the information you’re looking for isn’t available through one of these sources, then you might be looking at a data question

Useful resources stats data

Useful Resources – Stats & data

  • The Daily

  • Products and Services catalogue

  • Definitions, Data Sources and Methods

  • Guide to ESTAT

  • Guide to CANSIM II

  • DLI Collection: survey names and acronyms

Stc website cheat sheet

STC Website Cheat Sheet

  • Looking for community information at the smallest geographic level?

    Community Profiles!

  • Looking for information about Canadians?


  • Looking for statistics on a subject?

    The Daily!

Stc website cheat sheet1

STC Website Cheat Sheet

  • Looking what products are available from a survey?

    Products and Services!

  • Looking to see if a question was asked on a survey?

    IDLS Variable Search!

Exercise fun

Exercise Fun!

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