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Unlocking non-official statistics. 2009 Winter Institute on Statistical Literacy for Librarians. Angie Mandeville :: Librarian :: University of Alberta. Non-official statistics. What are they? Who publishes them? Classification standards? Tools & search strategies Exercise(s).

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Unlocking non official statistics

Unlocking non-official statistics

2009 Winter Institute on Statistical Literacy for Librarians

Angie Mandeville :: Librarian :: University of Alberta

Non official statistics

Non-official statistics

  • What are they?

  • Who publishes them?

  • Classification standards?

  • Tools & search strategies

  • Exercise(s)

What are they

What are they?

  • Non-official statistics are produced by a range of non-governmental bodies or publishers.

  • Dissemination: $

  • So…Who publishes them?





  • Industry statistics & economic indicators:

    • Sales figures

    • Production rates

    • Export/import facts

    • Market share rankings

    • Demographics

    • Consumer spending habits

    • Surveys

Consulting professional service firms

Consulting/Professional service firms

84% of Canadians feel that Canada has one of the strongest banking systems in the world, and 85% have complete confidence in them.

Market research agencies

Market research agencies

Market research reports

Market research reports



“Caregivers have experienced the following physical changes since they began taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s disease: fatigue (47 per cent), difficulty sleeping (36 percent), headaches (23 per cent), back pain (21 per cent), weight gain (19 per cent) and worsening of existing conditions (15 per cent)”

Survey polling firms

Survey/polling firms

Financial institutions

Financial institutions

Chambers of commerce economic development organizations

Chambers of Commerce/Economic Development Organizations

  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Research institutes think tanks

Research Institutes/Think tanks

Classification standards

Classification standards


  • SIC

  • Others?

Unlocking non official statistics


Developed late 1930’s –> last revised 1987

Analyze U.S. economy, manufacturing dominated

10 divisions -> grouping establishments engaged in producing/handling same product or rendering same service

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System Search

Naics nakes

NAICS (nakes)

Developed 1997 by U.S., Canada and Mexico

New comparability in statistics about business activity across North America

20 industry sectors  production-oriented that groups establishments into industries based on activity, “like processes to produce goods or services”

Non official statistics stocking your tool belt

Non-official statistics: Stocking your tool belt

  • Print & Web-based

  • Free & Fee-based

  • Acquisition decisions

Tools print

Tools - Print

Tools print1

Tools - Print

  • Basic demographic info (age, gender, marital status, etc.)

  • Consumer psychographic profiles by community

    • E.g. Professional Duets

    • E.g. Urban Bohemia

  • U.S. tool - MyBestSegments

Tools free

Tools - Free

  • Alacrawiki

  • Winspear Canadian Industry Database (WCID)

  • Pathfinders (UA)

  • Google (or any other search engine)

Tools fee based

Tools – Fee-based

  • Global Market Information Database

    • Keyword search

    • Menu search

    • Browse

Gmid your turn

GMID: Your turn

  • Use Global Market Information Database to find a market report statistics about pet food and/or pet care in Canada.

  • What statistics are included in this report?

Tools fee based1

Tools – Fee-based

  • Print Measurement Bureau (PMB)

  • Superdemographics

Pmb your turn

PMB: Your turn

  • Use PMB to find statistics on numbers of petsin Canadian households

  • Use PMB to determine Edmonton’s top three coffee shops

  • What worked? What didn’t work?

Tools fee based2

Tools – Fee-based

  • TableBase

Tools fee based3

Tools – Fee-based

  • Association directories

    • Associations Canada

    • Associations Unlimited

Search strategies

Search strategies

  • Basic questions:

    • Who would collect this? Publish it?

    • Why?

  • Mine bibliographic indexes

  • Pathfinders (HBS, UA, etc.)

  • Google

    • phrase searching

    • Kw: statistics (percent, per cent, billion, million, unit you’re measuring), market share, market size, industry overview, financial data, expenditures, costs

Unlocking non official statistics

  • “Official statistics have to be compiled according to international guidelines and principles, but they cannot be considered the only reliable source of statistics. Relevant and reliable data are also produced by other bodies, such as international organisations, central banks, research institutes and non-governmental organisations. What matters is not necessarily the institutional position of the source, but the quality of data.”

    (Enrico Giovannini, Chief Statistician - OECD)

Gauging quality

Gauging quality

  • Producer’s reputation

  • Gap between collection and publication

  • Secondary?

    • Sources identified

  • Primary?

  • Text of document

  • Do results make sense?

  • Confirmed in other sources?

To spend or not spend

To spend or not spend

  • Audience

  • Potential usage

  • Positive reviews from others

  • Cost (deal breaker?)

  • Electronic or print

To spend or not to spend

To spend or not to spend

  • Access: Simultaneous users? Compatible with proxy server?

  • Technical issues: Compatibility with web browsers? Usage stats?

  • Price: Is consortia pricing an option?



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