Open Source Datasets

Alison Rowe
November 21, 2019

Have you ever needed data for a work or academic project? If so, are there any good sites on the internet where you can easily access data?

I have had to complete several projects at work where I had to build reports in various BI tool (Qlik and PowerBI). I needed to find data that met the project requirements, was easily available and in a usable format.

So, where do I go for this type of data?

  1. World Health Organisation (WHO)

The WHO’s Global Health Observatory is a gateway to health-related statistics for over one thousand indicators for its 194 Member States. It is a goldmine for health statistics!

The website is slit into sections and you can search data by themes, categories, indicator or country. For example, you can find information on:

  • Child and maternal mortality
  • Communicable diseases
  • Substance abuse
  • Medicines and vaccinations
  • Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene
  1. The World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The WTO Data portal contains statistical indicators relating to trade issues. The data covers time series on merchandise trade, market access and non-tariff information.

There are about 240 different indicators available, split by reporting economies and year (dating back to 1948). The data can be exported in csv format.

  1. The World Bank

The world bank site provides free and open access to global development data. You can browse the data by country or indicator. Topics include:

  • Climate change
  • Economy and growth
  • Finances
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Infrastructure
  • Social Development

The data is available to download in csv, excel or xml format.

  1. The United Nations

The United Nations provides access to 32 databases containing over 60 million records, so quite a lot of data to choose from!

On the front screen you can select from popular statistical tables by country and regional profile. If you select the Datamart tab this take you to an explorer page that you can browse the data by datasets, sources or topics.

Topics include:

  • Crime
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Finance
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Population
  • Tourism
  • Trade

The data is available to download in excel format.

  1. Statistics New Zealand – NZ.Stat or Infoshare

These two tools allow you to build tables with data on your area of interest. They allow you to view datasets in tables and customise variable and layout. You can view on-screen or download Excel or csv files.

Statistics New Zealand data covers areas such as Census, population, crime, housing, transport, income and trade.

  1. Sports Datasets

This website contains links to datasets containing information on matches, players and race results. The following areas are covered:

Football datasets
  • FIFA players
  • World Cup
  • International football results 1872 to 2018
Basketball datasets
  • NBA shot logs
  • NBA player of the week
  • NCAA basketball teams and games
American Football datasets
  • NFL play by play statistics
  • NKL draft outcome
Other datasets
  • Formula One racing
  • Olympic History

Hopefully one of these will suit your needs. If not, other good place to look are on reddit forums.

Happy data analysis!

~ Ali.

Alison Rowe is part of our team of data analysts who make sense of data which enables better decision making.

Connect with Alison on LinkedIn or read some of her other blogs here.

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