10 Best Open Data Sources Anyone Can Use
Updated: Sep 4
What is open data?
As the name suggests, open data is data which is freely available for everyone to access and republish as they wish without restrictions from copyrights and other mechanisms of control. Other definitions include data that is free to use, reuse and redistribute it – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike.
Such data can benefit the society in the following;
Bring transparency and accountability in government services.
Spark innovation and economic value – businesses and entrepreneurs can use open data to better understand potential markets and build new data driven products.
Gauge the impact of development initiatives overtime, geographies and topical areas.
Training machine learning models and use as practice data in learning different analytical tools.
Transform the way we understand and engage with the world etc.
Here is my list of 10 brilliant open data sources you can try today.
1. World Bank Open Data initiative shares data from statistical systems of its member countries – therefore the quality of its global data depends on how these national systems work. This platform allows you to download data in Excel, CSV or Tabbed TXT formats.
2. World Health Organization (WHO) open data repository – This is WHO’s main health statistics repository containing extensive list of indicators on global health. This resource allows you to export data in excel or CVS format.
3. Google Public Data Explorer – this site provides public data and forecasts from a range of international organizations and academic institutions including the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat and the University of Denver.
4. UNICEF DATA – this platform provides data on the state of women and children worldwide.
5. Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) – This is an open data sharing platform managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis.
6. Healthdata.gov – the site makes high value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.
7. European Union Open Data Portal – This platform gives access to open data published by EU institutions and bodies. Such data if free for use and reuse in commercial and non-commercial purposes.
8. Kaggle – this is an online community of data scientists and machine learning practitioners. It allows users to find and publish data sets, explore and build models in a web-based data science environment as well as participate in competitions to solve data science challenges.
9. UNdata – This is a product of United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) which allows you to download various statistical resources covering education, employment, energy, environment, food and agriculture, health, human development, industry, ICT, population, refugees, tourism and trade.
10. Climate Data Online – this site provides data on climate around the world.
Other open data sites include;
20. Open Data Network etc.
These open data platforms bring significant empowerment to the generation. Giving students free data to learn different tools as well as empowering businesses spot potential markets and launch new products.