Distributed in partnership with subscription agent Harassowitz GmbH, the Statista database has been developed by a German company and is gaining wide use in Europe. It provides current statistical data and comparisons for an eclectic, wide-ranging, and continually updated array of topics, using both publicly accessible and proprietary sources. Statista has been reviewed in Library Journal.1
This review is in progress. CRL is working to gather more information and critical assessment. We encourage our community to submit comments on their experiences with the database.
Sources for this review include information publicly posted or obtained directly from the publisher, data collected by CRL staff and members, and examination of the digital collection when possible.Other sources are noted where cited.
Distributed in partnership with subscription agent Harassowitz GmbH, the Statista database has been developed by a German company and is gaining wide use in Europe. It provides current statistical data and comparisons for an eclectic, wide-ranging, and continually updated array of topics, using both publicly accessible and proprietary sources. The open access portion of the database provides access to about 10 percent of the overall statistical content.
About 20 percent of the total data in Statista comes from sources available free online, such as the World Bank and the U.S. Census. But the data also includes numerous other exclusive sources including industry, marketing, and trade groups. The chief types of data are related to marketing, demographics, and government information. (See Appendix A for a recent list of the 500 sources most frequently cited in Statista.) Data are custom-combined to yield a very broad range of topics, including these recently featured tables: “Worldwide Apple iPhone Sales since 2007”; “Number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India”; “Oil Imports from Iran by Country”; and “NFL Athletes’ Twitter Accounts with the Most Followers Worldwide.” New types of charts are continually added; the developers note that they update existing data when available.
The geographic coverage is planned to be worldwide; the developers are currently expanding content on Brazil, India, and China. They also hope to develop customized portal interfaces for certain client markets including China, France, and the UK.
The developers note that many of Statista’s clients are global corporations outside of academia, in the private sector. The material is continually updated; some earlier reports are retained and revised as necessary with new data. For analysis of longer data series, researchers will need to consult to the original sources, which are extensively documented in a source database (the source database is not available in the open access version of Statista). The database appropriately describes itself as a “statistics portal”, although it does add value by combining various types of sources to address topics of current interest.
As Bonnie Swoger stated in her recent review in Library Journal, the Statista interface is very “sleek” and user friendly. From a simple search box, the number of results can be overwhelming. The search limit functions help narrow results, but Swoger notes that limits must be applied one at a time; it would be more helpful to set limits prior to executing a search. The developers report that they are continuing to refine interface functions. Browsers facilitate the casual user’s selection of broad industry-based topic areas such as: Media & Advertising; Energy & Utilities; and Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate. Subdivisions to these categories include aspects such as popular items (“top statistics” ), pricing, companies, production, and consumer behavior.
Each table is accompanied by fairly detailed metadata that gives a description of the source, release date, and direct link to the source where available. Identifying associated types of information is facilitated by linked keyword and topical tags. The developers indicate there are nearly 80,000 access points for current data, including the topic areas, subdivisions, and keywords.
Download functions are very flexible for subscribing users, including files in JPEG, PowerPoint, or Excel file formats (allowing further manipulation of the data). The campus licenses provide very flexible and generous rights, permitting full publication rights without requiring further requests for permission.
Researchers wishing to use only the open access content must register by email to obtain a free account. The open access accounts have limited functionality; there is no access to specialized reports and customized data, and limited download capability.
The interface is available in German language as well as English. Note that some early, European-oriented content is indexed only through the German interface. Search results can be filtered by language.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Statista is easy to use and will be very appealing for undergraduate research and non-specialists wishing to augment investigations with an intriguing variety of data.
For advanced data users, the biggest advantage of Statista is its inclusion of data from many individual U.S. and European companies as well as data from industry associations, government agencies, and intergovernmental organizations. The European focus and individual company information sets Statista apart from other subscription sources of data like SimplyMap or Proquest Statistical Datasets. While historical and time series data are not a focus of Statista, the metadata about each table provides all the necessary information to go to the table’s source, where historical information may be available. Even though the download options do not include comma delimited format or formats that load directly into specific statistical software packages, some statistical software packages can convert Excel files to their native format. Another advantage of Statista for the advanced data user is the ability to filter search results by region and by the structure of the data (such as time series, proportions, and rankings).
Aside from the limited content in the open access version, the Statista database is available by subscription. Multiple-year subscriptions up to five years are allowed with corresponding “duration discounts”.
1 Bonnie Swoger, “Statista,” Library Journal January 2012 (37:1): 139–41, http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2012/01/reference/statista/.
Direct from Publisher
|Subjects covered||Manufacturing, marketing, consumer behavior, utilities, economic growth, trade, and other aspects of marketing and demographics|
|Geographic coverage||Europe, North and South America, Middle East, South Asia, Asia (greatest strength currently in European and North American content)|
|Content types||statistical data charts|
|Source formats||born digital|
|Total titles||content extracted from over 500 sources of data|
|Digital collection launch date||2008|
|Major languages||English; German (interface available in German as well as English)|
|P||Browser compatibility||all current versions|
|Archiving solution – master files||NA|
|Archiving solution – derivative files||NA|
|P||Availability in web discovery tools||N|
|P||Open URL target||N|
|P||Federated searching, z39.50||N|
|P||Local host option||N|
|Full text displayed||Y|
|Search full text||Y|
|Search within results||Y|
|Limit results by dates and/or document types||Y|
|Display highlighted search terms||NA|
|Display snippet -- search term in context||NA|
|Download HTML||Y (download as JPEG, PPT, or Excel)|
|Print full document||Y|
|P||Restrictions on use||N (charts may be republished without permission)|
|Publisher / Distributor||Statista|
|Address||Pilatuspool 2-4, Hamburg, DE 20355|
|Contact||www.statista.com; email@example.com +1 (212) 960-8251|
|CRL Profile of Publisher||NA|
|P||Multiple year payments option||Y|
|List of purchasers available||NA|
|Sample license available||Y|
|MARC records purchase fee||N|
|Price tier basis||FTE|
Statista Source List Statista Top Sources.pdf