Design

8 Useful Databases to Dig for Data (and 100 more)

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You already know that data is the bread and butter of reports and presentations. Data makes your presentation solid. It backs up the ideas you are selling. It gives people reasons to listen to you.

However, data digging is a struggle. It’s a struggle to look for reputable and legitimate sources, especially in this digital age.

To make your life easier, we’ve put together a list of useful databases that you can use to find the data you seek. To being with, here are eight useful databases for you to dig for data.

1. Freebase

Freebase is an open platform for data sharing. It contains a wide range of topics from fictional characters to Modest Mouse. You can even curate your data with data plotting feature. You can plot your datasets in timeline or map.

2. UN Data

This database contains large datasets, consisting virtually all the public data collected by the United Nation. To access the API you have to sign up (it will only take a couple of minutes).

3. WorldBank

Where else to look for financial data of the world but the WorldBank? You can get virtually any country’s financial and economy standings here. Some other topics included are:

4. Data.gov

Data.gov is leading the way in democratizing public sector data and driving innovation. This movement has spread throughout cities, states, and countries.  5 of 50+ categories:

5. Infochimps

Infochimps contains paid and free datasets just about anything. What’s cool about Infochimps is that you can download datasets into csv format. What’s more is that you can fiddle with the API to extract the data specific to your needs. Try Twitter as your search metric and you will see what I mean.

6. Google Public Data

The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate.

7. Google Scholar

The Google Scholar is a free search engine that contains all kinds of academic literatures. Citing journal publishers, universities research papers, and other scholarly materials do not just make your content looks smarter, but as well as more trustworthy.

8. Data Market

Data Market contains in-house and third party datasets. It’s a good place to explore data related to economics, healthcare, food and agriculture, and the automotive industry.


Since our original post, we’ve come across a few more sources of data that might be useful for you:

You can also get a crazy amount of datasets and related information from Datamob.

DataWrangling is a repository with a large volume of datasets from a wide range of fields. To make it easier for you, we have scraped the list for you below. However, please note that list may not be up to date as it was last updated in 2009. Even so, it’s still a good place to start your data search.

Tips on using this list: Each link comes with tags. You can do a search using keyword to find the appropriate database for use.

Happy data digging, people!

Now that you have an abundance of data on hand, find out how to avoid these common mistakes when transforming them into infographics.

Update: List was updated on 31 October 2014

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