Where To Find Data Sets

Deyan G.
Deyan G.

Updated · May 10, 2022

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Data sets are the bread and butter of data analysts. If you’ve ever conducted analytical research with several variables, then you’re aware of just how vital they are. So, where to find data sets when conducting research? 

Fortunately, numerous online platforms host and provide data set services. Let’s explore several repositories and dig into data sets some more.

What is a Data Set?

Simply put, it's a collection of particular information. 

Excel data sets primarily come in tabular form. There are usually variables representing different facets of a phenomenon. An example is tabularized details on the distribution locations of a product or service based on different criteria such as an age group. 

In other words, it consists of variables and corresponding values. The best way to create it is to use a module or data package. Today, there are several software packages that you can employ to create a data store.

The first step is to collect the information. Depending on the area of study or interest, several methods are used, such as:

  • Quizzes
  • Questionnaires
  • Online survey forms
  • Case management systems
  • Data registries
  • Report systems. 

CSV data sets generally consist of rows, integers, and columns of open data. Analysts often use data visualization software, like SPSS to unwrap the inner secrets of each set. This tool analyzes numerical data sets with unique algorithms while ensuring the effective presentation of your results.  

Where to Find Data Sets?

Data sets aren't as challenging to find as you can imagine. Many agencies and private organizations store vast amounts of information. Over the past years, more and more have gone public - offering sets for free. An excellent example of this is when Amazon made its database accessible in the Open Registry. 

Many databases are available online. Stored digitally in different formats, including CSV, students and researchers can download them for use.

Let’s take a look at the top-ten repositories for free data sets. 

Google

As one of the Big Five tech companies, Google is a behemoth in data collection. It’s not surprising, then, that it offers up a trove of information. 

Google public data sets offer an excellent solution for analysts looking for free, open-source data sets to support their research. Its beta version came about in 2018 and became publicly available in early 2020.  

Google’s Dataset Search provides free online data sets for students and projects. After logging on to the portal, you can intuitively perform searches.  

There are thousands of data sets available, including the COVID-19 Open Data Repository. This data set comprises information collected from Eurostat, the WHO, New York Times, and other sources. It is downloadable as free Excel data sets.

Whether you are a data scientist or a student, this is an ideal solution for anyone looking to conduct in-depth research. 

Kaggle

Kaggle’s parent company Google founded it in 2010 as a public forum for data gurus and enthusiasts of machine learning. Kaggle enables users to collect and publish their unique data sets. 

In addition, it builds models collaboratively with other data scientists. In doing so, they compete to provide working solutions to various data science challenges.

If concerned over how to find data sets, then Kaggle should be one of your first options. It has a vast array of business-related CSVs suited for innovative research for enterprises. Kaggle data sets generate primarily from neural networks, postgraduate academic research, and personal contributions by data scientists. 

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

As the world’s leading online retailer, Amazon has grown to provide many products and services over the years. Within the tech and digital information sector, Amazon launched its Registry of Open Data in 2018, providing free online data sets.

This repository has business data sets and ones covering geography and public health. There is a particular emphasis on the latter with efforts to trace the genetic genesis of the cancer genome in an effort to eradicate different forms of this disease. 

To ensure conformity with best digital practices, users must follow strict guidelines when adding sets to the Registry of Open Data. There is a dedicated search bar to navigate to topics of interest. Before uploading or accessing any data, users must create an AWS account. A free version is available. 

Analysts can access statistical data sets in the form of excel data sheets that are compatible with Hadoop and AWS’s dedicated EC2 program. 

NASA 

In 2016, NASA launched its technical and scientific publication clearinghouse to the general public with DATA.NASA.GOV.

While some platforms provide a large variety of data sets, some focus on specific disciplines. It’s not a surprise that NASA offers an impressive selection of science-related sheets relevant to: 

  • Aeronautics
  • Space engineering
  • Earth science
  • Geospatial studies
  • Atmospherical science. 

Its public data sets are available for free on its portal, providing ample opportunity for researchers to sort through earth and space-related data in CSV format. 

Data.Gov

Students and data scientists interested in the US will find Data.gov a valuable resource with open-source data sets

Created in 2009, Data.gov initially provided access to Executive Branch data sets. Today, Data.gov is a comprehensive repository that hosts more than 200,000 research data sets covering a wide range of topics.

This user-friendly database enables researchers to narrow down searches based on the file format, organization, and geographical location. You can also select your search’s government level. 

Data.gov is ideal for those seeking US-specific information on topics like psychology, crime, weather, and more. 

World Bank Open Data 

The World Bank also provides open-source, nominal data for interested analysts. 

Its open data initiative recently resulted in the collating of data set aggregates into a single, publicly available database. 

With access through its portal, users can search keywords, indicators, or nationalities. Some examples of these include:

  • Agricultural, rural development, urban and social development
  • Protection and labor
  • Gender
  • Spanish.

Based on economic models and its global activities cutting into various spheres, its free public data sets are often relevant for researchers with vested interests in finances and geography. 

Datahub.io

As one of the most popular online databases, Datahub is a great option to find cool and specialized data sets.  

Its founders describe it as a means to store, share, publish, inspect, and process data using the best methods and tools. The database tables are comprehensive and feature raw information on topics like:

  • Property prices
  • Logistics
  • Inflation
  • Stock market. 

With Datahub, entrepreneurs and data analysts can make relevant inferences to improve their business decisions. The sample documents are regularly updated, so there is a never-ending array of sheets.

Datahub allows specialists to use statistical analysis tools like SPSS and relevant APIs to comb through data. This effective process prevents the need to painstakingly process stats in Excel. 

FiveThirtyEight

Few sources provide more comprehensive large data sets related to US politics and sports. Users can download its free open-source sets for offline use with access to both raw intel and data visualizations.  

The self-described data journalism platform began operations in 2008, and the New York Times subsequently featured it in 2010 - primarily based on its successful electoral predictions. The sports broadcasting giant ESPN then acquired the rights to the website three years later. Since then, it has become a hub for where to get data sets about athletes

Its data sets include information on club football, NBA, NFL, and pro sporting events. Additionally, there are many examples of data sets about obscure research topics. 

The site also provides data samples and stores on US politics like congressional debates, election forecasts, voting psychology, and other trends.

BuzzFeed News 

BuzzFeed excels at data visualizations with various guides, tools, libraries, and data sets. As a media company founded in 2006, it has grown from strength to strength, developing its own database tables with concise, GitHub-based data sets. 

Buzzfeed’s repository provides comprehensive public data sets on pandemics and viruses, economics, politics, and geostatistics. 

For instance, there are data sets on government surveillance, minimum wage, and college tuitions. Also, interested parties can find specific health-related sets, including data about the Zika virus.

Also of interest is that Buzzfeed offers data sets for performing background checks on firearms purchases.  

Academic Torrents 

Launched in 2013 as an independent project of the Institute for Reproducible Research, this platform uses BitTorrent as its file-sharing protocol and means to distribute digital files.

While lesser known than many other sources of online data sets, it uniquely facilitates the transfer of data sets through torrent downloads. This allows for greater anonymity when acquiring data sets.  

Although torrents are a hot topic of debate among legal purists, it remains popular. Academic Torrents enable competent analysts to distribute research papers and host data sets for others.

In doing so, there is unlimited free access to its CSV and Excel data sets. Complimenting this, users can back up data with different seeders worldwide. And lastly, its smooth interface makes it an excellent option for researchers looking to download data sets easily

One of its most unique data sets is the Developing Human Connectome Project. It contains information about brain anatomy and functionality. 

Wrapping Up

Data sets prove to be useful time after time. They’re great for analyzing real-life practices to attain relevant deductions to solve real-world problems. With so much digitally-captured information available, data repositories have stepped in to ensure access and store. 

And although there are many platforms selling data, these ten data repositories are excellent sources of free public data sets. An added benefit is that many of the platforms use data blending from multiple sources to provide comprehensive data visualization experiences. 

In today’s connected world, researchers and students have vast quantities of data sets available to them. 

FAQ.


What is a data set example?

Data sets are distinct, aggregated information packets related to a topic - for example, a list of student exam scores for particular subjects. Several platforms provide live data set reporting on different phenomena. A list of scorelines from a weekend of English Premier League matches is a good example of such. 

Where can I find data sets?

Researchers can easily find data sets on several online repositories like Data.gov, BuzzFeed, Google, and NASA. Many provide entrepreneurs with valuable marketing data sets and politics, health, and geography-related ones. And if you are still having trouble locating a data set, read this entire article to learn where to find data sets.

How do you download data sets?

Most data sets are downloadable as CSV or Excel files. Many repositories allow for free downloads, while others require fees. As the sets are cloud-based, downloading requires a strong and stable internet connection. File transfer times depend on the data set’s size.

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Deyan G.

Deyan G.

Techjury.net's manager. Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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