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Statistics & Data: Get Started

NEW Odesi Platform

Attention Odesi Users!!

There is a new platform for Odesi and the old one will be retired in Winter 2024. 

This new platform offers increased searching capabilities, whether by survey title or keyword, including variable level searches.

We have created an infographic, How to Download Microdata from Odesi, showing the basic functions. 

If you encounter difficulties accessing Odesi or have any questions, please contact Agnes and me at our alias,


The Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) makes available specific datasets and files, including public use microdata files (PUMFs), to subscribing Canadian post-secondary institutions. The annual subscription fee allows faculty, students, and staff at these institutions unlimited access to these files for research and academic purposes. (DLI Licence

Access these files directly via Odesi.

Read more about the DLI.

Key Links

Data vs. Statistics vs. Information

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually very different, as shown in the following example:

Movie rentals per month by university students
Data Statistics Information
2, 3, 2, 5 Average number of rentals=3 520 university students rent fewer than 5 movies per month
10, 15, 11 Average number of rentals=12 20 university students rent more than 10 movies per month

Defining statistics

  • According to Statistics Canada, statistics refers to "a type of information obtained through mathematical operations on numerical data."
  • Statistics are generally presentation-ready.
  • Examples of statistics include:
    • the median income of people in a city
    • the average number of children per family in a neighbourhood
    • the average temperature over the past week

Defining data

  • According to Statistics Canada, data are "the raw material from which information is obtained" or the "facts or figures from which conclusions can be drawn."
  • Data will need to be manipulated in order for them to be meaningful.
  • Examples of data include
    • the individual income levels of every person in a city
    • the actual number of children per family for each family in the neighbourhood
    • the temperature, taken at hourly intervals, during a one-week period

Other Sources for Help

For assistance in statistical analysis, contact your supervisor, professor, or TA.

For technical help and computing support, contact IST or Faculty Service Desks.

Other specialized services include the Statistical Consulting and Survey Research Unit (SCSRU).