Data vs. Statistics: What's the difference?

Image courtesy of is an important distinction between data and statistics. Data is the raw data from which statistics are created. To put it another way, statistics are a way to provide interpretation and a summary of data.

To wit: without data, you can't create statistics. However when creating more statistics, you create more data. 

If you want to explore how a phenomenon can be quantified, you want data. Data can be analyzed and interpreted using statistical procedures to answer “why” or “how.” Data is used to create new information and knowledge.

If you’re looking for a quick number, you want a statistic. A statistic will answer “how much” or “how many”. A statistic repeats a pre-defined observation about reality.

In summary, statistics uses data to illustrate the story you want to tell.