A dataset is basically an excel sheet with separate headings and some data under each heading. With more and more data being made available, it has become possible for us to frame a picture of the world and its complex issues. Whether it is recruiting the perfect candidate for a job, curing a disease or preparing targeted ads- everything is governed by data. Most data is easily acquirable, but if you want to learn more about data science and are on the lookout for some interesting datasets then we’ve got you covered.

Google Trends

Marketing and advertising teams usually want to know what’s trending across the globe. Trending keywords and topics are of significant interest to many companies since these are used for increasing their organic views. Google Trends is a website where you can find data on trending topics worldwide. For example, this link gives a comparison of people’s interest in pho vs ramen vs soba since 2014. 

Companies can use the website to gather information on user search patterns on the internet.  Say, a company wants to check which geographical locations had the most searches for a specific keyword in the past 30 days and whether its search counts have increased or decreased. This can easily be done using Google Trends. I searched for IMDB (a popular movie review website) and this is the result I got. In this manner, different types of trends in different geographical locations (or across the entire world) can be spotted and used as per your requirements. 

AssetMacro

When it comes to data on economic metrics worldwide, AssetMacro is a boon for analysts, traders, and hedge funds. You might want to know that they provide you with the option to download your data in Excel, API or Web. When someone wants to invest in gold, oil, or other commodities they usually want to assess historical data on these, in order to assess which item would be a better investment over a long, short or medium duration of time. This data is difficult to gather directly. But AssetMacro provides access to many such datasets that help investors. Comparative rates of inflation between countries, GDP growth rates and other metrics, as well as indicators, are also provided in the form of easy-to-use datasets. You can access more than 55,000 economic and financial datasets that cover over 120 countries and 10 stock exchanges through AssetMacro.

The World Factbook

Containing a massive amount of data on different countries and topics, The World Factbook is a virtual encyclopedia of countries. If you, like Sheldon, have a love for flags, you would find a whole section dedicated to it here. It will also provide you with a travel advisory to any country you are interested in visiting. Like, France, or Italy. “One-page country summaries” which showcase important fields such as geography, society and economy is another feature that is provided for 63 countries. India, Afghanistan, Russia are a few examples of those featured. It is updated weekly and welcomes new suggestions by users. The only con with this dataset is that it does not provide in-depth information about any country but only as much as can be useful to US Government officials. 

Historical Weather Data

The tagline reads, “Finding past weather…Fast.” As can be easily surmised, this dataset is a compilation of past climate and weather conditions in the US. A small window on the screen allows you to check the current weather conditions of any US city. Active alerts for floods, hurricanes, droughts are provided. A Tsunami warning system is also available. This dataset, therefore, is not just a record of the climate but also plays an active role in forecasting and warning against hazardous weather phenomena.  

Titanic Passengers Dataset

This is a dataset of passengers who boarded or were supposed to board the Titanic. A list of passengers along with their names, age, gender, and economic class is featured along with the information on whether they survived or not. The dataset allows you to visualize the data in a graph of your choice .

Biological Datasets

Here you can find open data about biology that users and organizations all over the world have brought together in a single platform. It is a huge network of people intent on learning about the niches of biology they’re interested in, ranging from birdwatching, pot fishing in Ireland, to vegetation monitoring. If you’re a newbie, you can simply open a dataset that looks interesting to you and read through it. With time, you can even contribute data of your own. The possibilities don’t end here as the dataset gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who you can then collaborate with, in projects of your own.

EarthData by NASA

Since 1994, NASA has been providing free Earth science data to all users irrespective of their purposes of use. Whether it is reporting the extent of the Australian bushfire, the actual forest cover in Brazil or the gradual decrease of icebergs in Antarctica, it is EarthData by NASA we have to thank for bringing us the information. It gets its data from NASA’s EOSDIS, U.S. and international partner agencies. While Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) provides information to scientists and users interested in monitoring natural phenomena such as fires, hurricanes, volcanoes, air quality and the like, Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) uses Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) to provide fire location information. 

Data and Statistics by CDC

The CDC provides data on a wide variety of health-related topics like diabetes, life expectancy, cancer, and obesity. The extent of Alzheimer’s, childhood obesity in the States- everything health-related finds a place here. These statistics allow the government to create policies aimed at eliminating diseases and work towards the overall well-being of the citizens. For example, the dataset on increasing obesity among children has led to increasing awareness about the cheap but unhealthy fast-food culture that is destroying the country’s future.  

World Bank

Not only does the World bank provide financial data about countries, but it also provides data on education and health. The World Bank Open Data provides free access to all data. The World Bank’s Statistical Capacity Indicator helps assess the national statistical systems of over 140 developing countries using metadata, where India scored 93.33 on a scale of 1-100 in 2018. Impact Evaluation Surveys showcases impact evaluation data and metadata conducted by the World Bank and some 300 agencies in 72 countries. Enterprise Surveys, answered by business owners and managers of economies of all sizes, allow access to business environment-related data. Free registration allows you access to all relevant datasets you would require. 

GlassDoor Research Datasets

Glassdoor offers data related to employment. You can, for example, figure out how much you can save by retaining employees. It also gives you information on the job market. The Glassdoor Job Market Report provides regular updates on hiring trends and wage growth in the United States based on data collected on Glassdoor from millions of users. Thus, it can calculate open jobs and median pay across industries and scour areas that need improvement. 

Conclusion

Interesting datasets are widely available, and many of them are free. If you want to try your hand at data science, the Internet has lots to offer to you. This is the age of data, just like the last one was the age of machines. If you own a business, data will take your business forward and if you are a professional, you need to make sure that you are data-driven so that you can keep up with the changing times. One must remember that “In God we trust, all others bring data.”.

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