Collecting data has several important characteristics. First, it is often time-consuming and difficult. It is useful to remember Hofstadter’s Law “Everything always takes longer than you think it is going to take, even after you have taken into account Hofstadter’s Law”.
Secondly, getting data from the web is not as easy as many students expect. Much data is not on the web and the most easily accessible data has already analysed to the point of boredom. Furthermore, some web pages are very difficult to use or need passwords.
Despite all of this, data collection is very a worthwhile and useful skill. It is very rewarding to finally get the data you want. Treat it as the big challenge!
- Economics Network links to free data (keep this in your bookmarks)
- Other Sources on the Internet
- Paper Copy
- Metadata and issues in downloading data
- Other data sources
This section has drawn heavily on a guide written by Dr Edmund Cannon, Reader of Economics at the University of Bristol.