July 12, 2017

Our Top Open Data Sources and Datasets

3 minute read

Big data’s power to shed light on marketing activity in the commercial sphere is undeniable. The addition and combination of various datasets can at once reveal untapped marketing trends and provide the structure for predictive modelling applications.

Many organisations may already be analysing the data they themselves collect to inform their business objectives, but if that’s all they’re doing, they may be missing a trick. There’s a vast amount of freely available ‘open data’ in the public domain, from both government and non-government sources, that can add extra layers of vital marketing insight when applied in the right way.

We will delve deeper into the world of open data in next week’s blog, but for now, here are our favourite open data sources and datasets from across the UK, EU and worldwide.

UK open data sources:

  • data.gov.uk – One of the most extensive national open data sources in the world, data.gov.uk contains over 19,000 non-personal UK datasets from government departments, public bodies and local authorities. Datasets include health and UK census, transport, mapping and historical weather reports.
  • Office of National Statistics (ONS) – The ONS is the UK’s largest independent producer of national statistics and supplies a large variety of datasets, ranging from business, economy and employment to population and societal data.
  • UK Data Service – The UK Data Service offers social, economic and population data collections, including UK census data and government funded surveys.
  • NHS Digital – NHS Digital catalogues datasets produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Topics include illness, hospital and social care, public health, prescriptions, geography, demography and socio-economics.
  • Met Office – The Met Office is the UK’s national weather service, and provides historic weather station and climate data.
  • National Statistics Postcode Lookup (NSPL) – The NSPL relates postcodes to geographical regions and administrative areas of the UK.
  • Ordnance Survey (OS) – The OS provides geographical UK maps and open data on postcodes, road names, boundaries and transport access.

EU and global open data sources:

  • EU Open Data Portal – The portal is a point of access to data from a wide variety of EU organisations and public bodies. Dataset topics include economy, employment, science, environment and education.
  • EuroStat – Eurostat is the statistical office of the EU and hosts a plethora of datasets and statistics, including economy, industry and trade, social and populations, agriculture, science and environment.
  • The World Bank – The World Bank collects and processes large amounts of data, from economic and financial to health and education.
  • Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) – The GDELT consists of human societal-scale behaviour and beliefs across all countries of the world, connecting events broadcast on news media into a single network. The database archives contain geographical coordinate data and records the people, organisations, locations, themes and emotions found in each news article.
  • Google Trends – Google Trends is a useful tool which visualises search-term volume and frequency relative to other search terms and countries.
  • Our World in Data (OWID) – OWID is an online publication which gives a broad analysis of data trends throughout time at a country level through the use of strong and interactive visualisations and links supplied to the original data sources.
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) – The WHO data repository is a gateway to the world’s health-related statistics and datasets and can be categorised by country or theme.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The NOAA supply various climate and weather data lookups for weather maps, precipitation and storm databases and the Global Historic Climatology Network.

And there are so many more! There is a continually growing expanse of open data out there which businesses can access and incorporate into their strategic decisions. In next week’s blog on understanding open data, we will take a closer look at how this largely unexploited resource can work to propel business opportunity.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about how these open data sources have the potential to benefit your business.

Posted by Sarah Cumber


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Our Top Open Data Sources and Datasets