Where to find some open data

Steven Morrison
July 27, 2020

The OptimalBI team loves open source and is also mad about data. Alison wrote a blog on Open source datasets already, and because there’s more options out there, I thought I would give you some more places to get open data from for your various data needs. I have used some of the datasets to make a few visulations using Rapid Miner.

1. data.govt.nz

A New Zealand government site offering hundreds of pages of datasets. Datasets from all around New Zealand ranging on topics from the effects of Covid-19 on trade, to Wellington City Council public toilets.

2. FiveThirtyEight

A data-based news site that has its own data portal for some of the data sets they use. This is great if you want to have a more in depth look at the numbers behind an article you can may be able to do that which is a great change to your normal news.

3. United States Census Bureau

As it says in the name, it is the US census data. You can filter that down and download the data you want to work with. Some of the things you may want to make will take a bit more work but the data is all there.

4. US Gov

Much like the New Zealand data.govt, this one is the US version. They have a lot of filters so if you know what you want to work with it shouldn’t be too hard to get things filtered down to a more browsable level.

5. Google’s dataset search

Google has a few different search types now with the addition of dataset search which came out of beta in early 2020. You can search through publicly available data sets without the need to know what site its located on first.

6. r/Datasets

I use Reddit for a number of different things and only just recently found a sub reddit for datasets, this page has user that post datasets they have found and ones that can help you to find what you are looking for. Thought not a direct find and download it’s a good hunting ground for datasets you might not know about.

Hopefully, you have found something you can work with in this short list.

Stay safe, be kind.


Image of Steven Morrison with the OptimalBI logo in the background.

Steven Morrison is a design innovation grad who’s part of the team here at OptimalBI, so you’ll find him squirreling away working on stuff that helps make us look good. 

Connect with Steven on LinkedIn, or read some of his other blogs here.

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