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Physician Associates research project guidance: Data analysis project

Resources and links to guide you through your research project.

A data analysis project will make use of data publicly available to test a research hypothesis or help you answer a research question. The information you collect may be quantitative, such as statistics linked to how a disease aligns with various demographic factors, or qualitative, such as evaluating differences in public health advice between different countries. These projects often enable you to present your findings in visually interesting ways using graphs and tables.

Sources of information and data

Any data available publicly can be used. Some databases might ask for you to request access and this is fine also.

Government and academic sites (available for UK and many other countries) provide a lot of public health data that may be useful. Data is usually analysed in multiple formats (sometimes by region or other demographics. You may be able to link this to other information to help answer a question. Access to the raw data used may not be possible if the analysis you are looking for isn’t available, so make sure you can find what you need early in your project planning.

Finding relevant literature

Although this type of project focuses on publicly available data you will also need to find relevant articles to provide context. See the following page for guidance:

Additional data sources

Take a look at the Library guide to finding statistics for other sources of data which might be useful:

Image from Local Health (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities).