10 best places to find free data sets for your project


Access to high-quality data sets is essential for a wide range of projects, whether you’re a data scientist, researcher, or just a curious individual looking to explore interesting trends. The need for data sets can arise for personal projects, professional work, or academic research.

Fortunately, there are numerous online resources that provide free access to a diverse array of data sets that can fuel your latest project. In this article, we will explore some of the best places to find these valuable data sets, helping you to save time and effort in your quest for data.

1. Kaggle

Kaggle, the popular platform for data science competitions, offers a treasure trove of data sets. One of its primary advantages is its diverse range of data topics, making it an excellent starting point for beginners and seasoned data scientists alike. Kaggle allows users to upload, share, and download data sets, making it a vibrant community for data enthusiasts.

To find a data set on Kaggle, simply search for your desired topic, and you’ll likely discover numerous data sets related to your area of interest. Each data set comes with a description and can be easily downloaded, making Kaggle a go-to source for data-driven projects.

2. Google Dataset Search

Google Dataset Search is like Google’s standard search engine, but strictly for data. Launched in 2018, it’s an excellent tool if you have a particular topic or keyword in mind. It aggregates data from external sources, providing a clear summary of what’s available, a description of the data, who it’s provided by, and when it was last updated.

While Google Dataset Search is a powerful resource, it’s worth noting that some results may include fee-based data sets. Nevertheless, it remains a valuable starting point for data discovery.

3. Data.Gov

Data.Gov, launched in 2015, is a remarkable initiative by the US Federal Government to make a vast collection of data publicly available. With over 200,000 data sets covering diverse topics, including climate change and crime, this platform is a treasure trove of information.

The user-friendly interface allows for easy navigation and searching by keywords, geographical area, organization type, and file format. Data sets are labeled at federal, state, county, and city levels, providing a comprehensive view of government data. For demographic and population-related data, you can explore the US Census Bureau, offering valuable insights into US citizens, their geography, education, and more.

4. Datahub.io

Datahub.io offers a wide range of data topics, with a primary focus on business and finance. It covers areas such as stock market data, property prices, inflation, and logistics. Many of the data sets are updated monthly or even daily, ensuring you always have access to fresh data. For those interested in economics and finance, Datahub.io provides a wealth of data that can be used to analyze trends, make informed decisions, and develop data-driven models.

5. UCI Machine Learning Repository

For machine learning enthusiasts, the UCI Machine Learning Repository is a valuable resource. Established by the University of California Irvine thirty years ago, this repository is highly regarded among students, teachers, and researchers. It specializes in machine learning data and offers clear categorization by task (classification, regression, or clustering), attribute type (categorical, numerical), data type, and area of expertise. Whether you’re working on a classification problem, regression analysis, or any machine learning task, you can find a suitable data set on UCI’s repository.

6. Earth Data

Earth Data, managed by NASA, provides access to a vast array of Earth science-related data. Since 1994, this repository has been offering publicly available data from NASA’s satellite observations, covering weather and climate measurements, atmospheric observations, ocean temperatures, vegetation mapping, and more. For those fascinated by the Earth’s environment and climate, Earth Data offers an opportunity to explore and analyze real data from one of the world’s leading space agencies.

7. CERN Open Data Portal

The CERN Open Data Portal is a haven for those interested in particle physics. It grants access to over two petabytes of information, including data from the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. While the data may be complex, the portal provides detailed breakdowns of included datasets, related datasets, and guidance on data analysis. For individuals seeking to work with highly complex data sets and explore the world of particle physics, CERN’s portal offers a unique opportunity.

8. Global Health Observatory Data Repository

The Global Health Observatory Data Repository, managed by the UN World Health Organization, offers a gateway to health-related statistics from around the globe. Covering a wide range of health topics, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, and vaccination rates, this repository is valuable for data scientists interested in healthcare analytics. One notable feature is the ability to preview data tables before downloading them, making it easier to select the most relevant data for your project in the healthcare sector.

9. BFI Film Industry Statistics

For those intrigued by the world of entertainment and film, the British Film Institute (BFI) Industry Statistics is a valuable resource. The BFI compiles data on UK box office figures, audience demographics, home entertainment, movie production costs, and more. Their annual statistical yearbook provides in-depth analysis and visual reports, making it an excellent resource for those new to data analytics.

10. NYC Taxi Trip Data

Since 2009, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission has been accumulating transport data from across New York City. This unique data set covers pick-up/drop-off times and locations, trip distances, fares, payment types, passenger counts, and more. It offers a fascinating opportunity to analyze trends and changes in a confined geographic area. The commission provides additional tools, including user guides, taxicab zone maps, data dictionaries, and annual industry reports, making it user-friendly for data analytics newcomers.

The availability of free data sets on the internet has revolutionized the way we approach research, analysis, and decision-making. From Kaggle’s diverse collection to Google Dataset Search’s powerful search capabilities, Data.Gov’s extensive government data, and specialized repositories like UCI’s Machine Learning Repository, Earth Data, CERN Open Data Portal, Global Health Observatory Data Repository, BFI Film Industry Statistics, and NYC Taxi Trip Data, these platforms empower individuals and professionals to access data that enriches their projects and yields valuable insights. By exploring these diverse sources and utilizing their search and filtering functions, you can find high-quality data sets tailored to your specific project needs.