Free Data Sets for Data Science Projects – Dataquest


In the event you’ve ever labored on a private information science mission, you’ve in all probability spent plenty of time shopping the web in search of fascinating datasets to investigate. It may be enjoyable to sift by means of dozens of datasets to search out the right one, however it can be irritating to obtain and import a number of CSV information, solely to appreciate that the info isn’t that fascinating in spite of everything. Fortunately, there are on-line repositories that curate datasets and (principally) take away the uninteresting ones.

On this submit, we’ll stroll by means of a number of varieties of information science initiatives, together with information visualization initiatives, information cleansing initiatives, and machine studying initiatives, and determine good locations to search out datasets for every. Whether or not you wish to strengthen your data science portfolio by displaying which you can visualize information properly, or you have got a spare few hours and wish to apply your machine studying expertise, we’ve received you lined.

What’s a dataset?

A dataset, or information set, is just a group of information.

The only and commonest format for datasets you’ll discover on-line is a spreadsheet or CSV format — a single file organized as a desk of rows and columns. However some datasets will likely be saved in different codecs, and so they don’t must be only one file. Generally a dataset could also be a zipper file or folder containing a number of information tables with associated information.

How are datasets created?

Totally different datasets are created in numerous methods. On this submit, you’ll discover hyperlinks to sources with all types of datasets. A few of them will likely be machine-generated information. Some will likely be information that’s been collected through surveys. Some could also be information that’s recorded from human observations. Some could also be information that’s been scraped from web sites or pulled through APIs.

Everytime you’re working with a dataset, it’s vital to contemplate: how was this dataset created? The place does the info come from? Don’t leap proper into the evaluation; take the time to first perceive the info you might be working with.

Public Information Units for Information Visualization Tasks

A typical information visualization mission is perhaps one thing alongside the traces of “I wish to make an infographic about how revenue varies throughout the completely different states within the US”. There are just a few issues to remember when in search of a great information set for an information visualization mission:

  • It shouldn’t be messy, since you don’t need to spend so much of time cleansing information.
  • It needs to be nuanced and fascinating sufficient to make charts about.
  • Ideally, every column needs to be well-explained, so the visualization is correct.
  • The information set shouldn’t have too many rows or columns, so it’s simple to work with.

place to search out good information units for information visualization initiatives are information websites that launch their information publicly. They usually clear the info for you, and in addition have already got charts they’ve made which you can replicate or enhance.

1. FiveThirtyEight

FiveThirtyEight is an extremely widespread interactive information and sports activities web site began by Nate Silver. They write fascinating data-driven articles, like “Don’t blame a skills gap for lack of hiring in manufacturing” and “2016 NFL Predictions”.

FiveThirtyEight makes the info units utilized in its articles obtainable on-line on Github.

View the FiveThirtyEight Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

2. BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed began as a purveyor of low-quality articles, however has since developed and now writes some investigative items, like “The court that rules the world” and “The short life of Deonte Hoard”.

BuzzFeed makes the info units utilized in its articles obtainable on Github.

View the BuzzFeed Data sets

Listed here are some examples:


NASA is a publicly-funded authorities group, and thus all of its information is public. It maintains web sites the place anybody can obtain its datasets related to earth science and datasets related to space. You possibly can even kind by format on the earth science web site to search out all the obtainable CSV datasets, for instance.

Public Information Units for Information Processing Tasks

Generally you simply wish to work with a big information set. The top consequence doesn’t matter as a lot as the method of studying in and analyzing the info. You may use instruments like Spark or Hadoop to distribute the processing throughout a number of nodes. Issues to remember when in search of a great information processing information set:

  • The cleaner the info, the higher — cleansing a big information set may be very time consuming.
  • The information set needs to be fascinating.
  • There needs to be an fascinating query that may be answered with the info.

place to search out giant public information units are cloud internet hosting suppliers like Amazon and Google. They’ve an incentive to host the info units, as a result of they make you analyze them utilizing their infrastructure (and pay them).

4. AWS Public Information units

Amazon makes giant information units obtainable on its Amazon Web Services platform. You possibly can obtain the info and work with it by yourself laptop, or analyze the info within the cloud utilizing EC2 and Hadoop through EMR. You possibly can learn extra about how this system works here.

Amazon has a web page that lists all the information units so that you can browse. You’ll want an AWS account, though Amazon offers you a free entry tier for brand new accounts that can allow you to discover the info with out being charged.

View AWS Public Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

5. Google Public Information units

Very similar to Amazon, Google additionally has a cloud internet hosting service, referred to as Google Cloud Platform. With GCP, you should use a instrument referred to as BigQuery to discover giant information units.

Google lists all the information units on a web page. You’ll want to join a GCP account, however the first 1TB of queries you make are free.

View Google Public Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

  • USA Names — incorporates all Social Safety identify purposes within the US, from 1879 to 2015.
  • Github Activity — incorporates all public exercise on over 2.Eight million public Github repositories.
  • Historical Weather — information from 9000 NOAA climate stations from 1929 to 2016.

6. Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a free, on-line, community-edited encyclopedia. Wikipedia incorporates an astonishing breadth of data, containing pages on every part from the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars to Leonard Nimoy. As a part of Wikipedia’s dedication to advancing information, they provide all of their content material without spending a dime, and repeatedly generate dumps of all of the articles on the positioning. Moreover, Wikipedia provides edit historical past and exercise, so you’ll be able to observe how a web page on a subject evolves over time, and who contributes to it.

You’ll find the varied methods to obtain the info on the Wikipedia web site. You’ll additionally discover scripts to reformat the info in numerous methods.

View Wikipedia Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

Public Information Units for Machine Studying Tasks

If you’re engaged on a machine studying mission, you need to have the ability to predict a column from the opposite columns in an information set. So as to have the ability to do that, we have to ensure that:

  • The information set isn’t too messy — whether it is, we’ll spend all of our time cleansing the info.
  • There’s an fascinating goal column to make predictions for.
  • The opposite variables have some explanatory energy for the goal column.

There are just a few on-line repositories of information units which might be particularly for machine studying. These information units are usually cleaned up beforehand, and permit for testing of algorithms in a short time.

7. Kaggle

Kaggle is an information science group that hosts machine studying competitions. There are a selection of externally-contributed fascinating information units on the positioning. Kaggle has each stay and historic competitions. You possibly can obtain information for both, however you have got to join Kaggle and settle for the phrases of service for the competitors.

You possibly can obtain information from Kaggle by coming into a competition. Every competitors has its personal related information set. There are additionally user-contributed information units discovered within the new Kaggle Data sets providing.

View Kaggle Data setsView Kaggle Competitions

Listed here are some examples:

  • Satellite Photograph Order — an information set of satellite tv for pc photographs of Earth — the objective is to foretell which photographs have been taken sooner than others.
  • Manufacturing Process Failures — an information set of variables that have been measured throughout the manufacturing course of. The objective is to foretell faults with the manufacturing.
  • Multiple Choice Questions — an information set of a number of selection questions and the corresponding right solutions. The objective is to foretell the reply for any given query.

8. UCI Machine Studying Repository

The UCI Machine Learning Repository is likely one of the oldest sources of information units on the net. Though the info units are user-contributed, and thus have various ranges of documentation and cleanliness, the overwhelming majority are clear and prepared for machine studying to be utilized. UCI is a superb first cease when in search of fascinating information units.

You possibly can obtain information immediately from the UCI Machine Studying repository, with out registration. These information units are typically pretty small, and don’t have plenty of nuance, however are good for machine studying.

View UCI Machine Learning Repository

Listed here are some examples:

  • Email spam — incorporates emails, together with a label of whether or not or not they’re spam.
  • Wine classification — incorporates numerous attributes of 178 completely different wines.
  • Solar flares — attributes of photo voltaic flares, helpful for predicting traits of flares.

9. Quandl

Quandl is a repository of financial and monetary information. A few of this data is free, however many information units require buy. Quandl is beneficial for constructing fashions to foretell financial indicators or inventory costs. Because of the great amount of obtainable information units, it’s doable to construct a posh mannequin that makes use of many information units to foretell values in one other.

View Quandl Data sets.

Listed here are some examples:

Public Information Units for Information Cleansing Tasks

Generally, it may be very satisfying to take an information set unfold throughout a number of information, clear them up, condense them into one, after which do some evaluation. In information cleansing initiatives, generally it takes hours of analysis to determine what every column within the information set means. It could generally prove that the info set you’re analyzing isn’t actually appropriate for what you’re making an attempt to do, and also you’ll want to start out over.

When in search of a great information set for an information cleansing mission, you need it to:

  • Be unfold over a number of information.
  • Have plenty of nuance, and plenty of doable angles to take.
  • Require a great quantity of analysis to grasp.
  • Be as “real-world” as doable.

Most of these information units are usually discovered on aggregators of information units. These aggregators are likely to have information units from a number of sources, with out a lot curation. An excessive amount of curation offers us overly neat information units which might be laborious to do intensive cleansing on.

10. describes itself at ‘the social community for information individuals’, however may very well be extra appropriately describe as ‘GitHub for information’. It’s a spot the place you’ll be able to seek for, copy, analyze, and obtain information units. As well as, you’ll be able to add your information to and use it to collaborate with others.

In a comparatively brief time it has develop into one of many ‘go to’ locations to accumulate information, with numerous person contributed information units in addition to unbelievable information units by means of’s partnerships with numerous organizations includeing a considerable amount of information from the US Federal Authorities.

One key differentiator of is the instruments they’ve constructed to make working with information simpler – you’ll be able to write SQL queries inside their interface to discover information and be a part of a number of information units. Additionally they have SDK’s for R an python to make it simpler to accumulate and work with information in your instrument of selection (You is perhaps concerned about studying our tutorial on the Python SDK.)

View Data sets

11. is a comparatively new web site that’s a part of a US effort in the direction of open authorities. makes it doable to obtain information from a number of US authorities companies. Information can vary from authorities budgets to highschool efficiency scores. A lot of the info requires further analysis, and it will probably generally be laborious to determine which information set is the “right” model. Anybody can obtain the info, though some information units require further hoops to be jumped by means of, like agreeing to licensing agreements.

You possibly can browse the info units on immediately, with out registering. You possibly can browse by matter space, or seek for a selected information set.

View Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

12. The World Financial institution

The World Bank is a world growth group that gives loans and recommendation to creating nations. The World Financial institution repeatedly funds applications in creating nations, then gathers information to watch the success of those applications.

You possibly can browse World Financial institution information units immediately, with out registering. The information units have many lacking values, and generally take a number of clicks to truly get to information.

View World Bank Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

13. /r/datasets

Reddit, a well-liked group dialogue web site, has a bit dedicated to sharing fascinating information units. It’s referred to as the datasets subreddit, or /r/datasets. The scope of those information units varies lots, since they’re all user-submitted, however they are typically very fascinating and nuanced.

You possibly can browse the subreddit here. You too can see probably the most extremely upvoted information units here.

View Top /r/datasets Posts

Listed here are some examples:

14. Educational Torrents

Academic Torrents is a brand new web site that’s geared round sharing the info units from scientific papers. It’s a more recent web site, so it’s laborious to inform what the commonest varieties of information units will seem like. For now, it has tons of fascinating information units that lack context.

You possibly can browse the info units immediately on the positioning. Because it’s a torrent web site, all the information units may be instantly downloaded, however you’ll want a Bittorrent consumer. Deluge is an effective free choice.

View Academic Torrents Data sets

Listed here are some examples:

  • Enron emails — a set of many emails from executives at Enron, an organization that famously went bankrupt.
  • Student learning factors — a set of things that measure and affect scholar studying.
  • News articles — incorporates information article attributes and a goal variable.

Bonus: Streaming information

It’s quite common once you’re constructing an information science mission to obtain an information set after which course of it. Nonetheless, as on-line providers generate increasingly information, an growing quantity is generated in real-time, and never obtainable in information set type. Some examples of this embody information on tweets from Twitter, and inventory worth information. There aren’t many good sources to accumulate this type of information, however we’ll record just a few in case you wish to attempt your hand at a streaming information mission.

15. Twitter

Twitter has a great streaming API, and makes it comparatively easy to filter and stream tweets. You may get began here. There are tons of choices right here — you may work out what states are the happiest, or which nations use probably the most advanced language. We additionally not too long ago wrote an article to get you began with the Twitter API here.

Get started with the Twitter API

16. Github

Github has an API that permits you to entry repository exercise and code. You may get began with the API here. The choices are infinite — you may construct a system to mechanically rating code high quality, or work out how code evolves over time in giant initiatives.

Get started with the Github API

17. Quantopian

Quantopian is a web site the place you’ll be able to develop, take a look at, and operationalize inventory buying and selling algorithms. In an effort to assist you to do this, they provide you entry to free minute by minute inventory worth information. You can construct a inventory worth prediction algorithm.

Get started with Quantopian

18. Wunderground

Wunderground has an API for climate forecasts that free as much as 500 API calls per day. You can use these calls to construct up a set of historic climate information, and make predictions concerning the climate tomorrow.

Get started with the Wunderground API

Bonus: Private Information

The web is stuffed with cool information units you’ll be able to work with. However for one thing really distinctive, what about analyzing your personal private information? Listed here are some widespread websites that make it doable to obtain and work with information you’ve generated.

19. Amazon

Amazon permits you to obtain your private spending information, order historical past, and extra. To entry it, click this link (you’ll should be logged in for it to work) or navigate to the Accounts and Lists button within the high proper. On the following web page, search for the Ordering and Purchasing Preferences part, and click on on the hyperlink below that heading that claims “Obtain order studies”.

Right here is a simple data project tutorial that you may do utilizing your personal Amazon information to investigate your spending habits.

20. Fb

Fb additionally permits you to obtain your private exercise information. To entry it, click this link (you’ll should be logged in for it to work) and choose the varieties of information you’d prefer to obtain.

Right here is an instance of a simple data project you could build using your own personal Facebook data.

21. Netflix

Netflix permits you to request your own data for download, though it is going to make you leap by means of just a few hoops, and warns the method of collating your information could take 30 days. As of the final time we checked, the info they assist you to obtain is pretty restricted, however it may nonetheless be appropriate for some varieties of initiatives and evaluation.

Subsequent steps

On this submit, we lined good locations to search out information units for any sort of information science mission. We hope that you just discover one thing fascinating that you just wish to sink your enamel into!

In the event you do find yourself constructing a mission, we’d love to listen to about it. Please let us know!

At Dataquest, our interactive guided initiatives are designed that will help you begin constructing an information science portfolio to reveal your expertise to employers and get a job in information. In the event you’re , you’ll be able to signup and do our first module for free.

At Dataquest, our interactive guided initiatives are designed that will help you begin constructing an information science portfolio to reveal your expertise to employers and get a job in information. In the event you’re , you’ll be able to signup and do our first module for free.

In the event you appreciated this, you may prefer to learn the opposite posts in our ‘Construct a Information Science Portfolio’ collection:


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