Background information provides a general overview of and context for a research topic, event, or policy. It is a great place to find important vocabulary and concepts, relevant names of people or places, and dates of specific events. Data and statistics are also considered background information and can help determine things like prevalence. What these have in common is that they give you the big picture before you start digging into the scholarly research.
These resources are especially helpful during the idea generation stage. Finding good background information on a general topic can help you turn that topic into a research question.
They will also help you determine what vocabulary and background concepts you will need to identify relevant peer-reviewed sources in the databases and identify more specific areas of your topic that you may want to research further.