Machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchains, predictive analytics – all amazing technologies which have promised to revolutionize business and society.
They are useless, however, without data. Fortunately for businesses and organizations which don’t have the resources to methodically collect every piece of useful information, they will need themselves, a huge (and growing) amount is available freely online.
Two years ago I wrote an article listing 33 sources of Big Data available for free online. Of course, in business technology terms that was a lifetime ago, so here’s an update with thirty new entries:
- World Bank Open Data Datasets covering population demographics and a huge number of economic and development indicators from across the world.
- IMF Data The International Monetary Fund publishes data on international finances, debt rates, foreign exchange reserves, commodity prices and investments.
- The US National Center for Education Statistics Data on educational institutions and education demographics from the US and around the world.
- The UK Data Centre The UK’s largest collection of social, economic and population data.
- FiveThirtyEight A large number of polls providing data on public opinion of political and sporting issues.
- FBI Uniform Crime Reporting The FBI is responsible for compiling and publishing national crime statistics, with free data available at national, state and county level.
- Bureau of Justice Here you can find data on law enforcement agencies, jails, parole and probation agencies and courts.
- Qlick Data Market Offers a free package with access to datasets covering world population, currencies, development indicators and weather data.
- NASA Exoplanet Archive Public datasets covering planets and stars gathered by NASA’s space exploration missions.
- UN Comtrade Database Statistics compiled and published by the United Nations on international trade. Includes Comtrade Lab which is a showcase of how cutting edge analytics and tools are used to extract value from the data.
- Financial Times Market Data Up to date information on financial markets from around the world, including stock price indexes, commodities and foreign exchange.
- Google Trends Examine and analyze data on internet search activity and trending news stories around the world.
- Twitter The advantage Twitter has over the others are that most conversations are public. This means that huge amounts of data is available through their API on who is talking about what, where, when and why.
- Google Scholar Entire texts of academic papers, journals, books and legal case law.
- Instagram As with Twitter, Instagram posts and conversations are public by default. Their APIs allow likes, mentions and business details to be analyzed.
- OpenCorporates The world’s largest open database of companies.