In the book, Just Plain Data Analysis: Finding, Presenting, and Interpreting Social Science Data, the author outlines three key tasks and skills: finding the data, presenting the data, and interpreting the data. According to Klass,"finding the best data to address a research question requires that one understands the kinds of data that are available, who collects the data, and where they can be found" (2012, p.xiii). Data interpretation, which involves assessing the reliability and validity of social science measures, requires an understanding of how data is collected and how the indicators are constructed (Klass, 2012, p. xiv).
As you review published data and statistics, be sure to look for information such as: definitions of concepts, descriptions of data sources, methodology, and data accuracy. An example is the documentation for the Households and the Environment Survey, from Statistics Canada.
Key Canadian data producers may include government departments or agencies at the local (municipal / regional), provincial, and national level. Here are some suggestions: