Four types of data resource we use most often

1 / Government agencies and NGOs

The UK’s Office for National Statistics shares data on all aspects of British life – a common first port of call for projects in Britain.

Equivalents elsewhere include the US Data.gov portal and the EU Open Data portal — you can find a full (and very exhaustive) list here. And NGOs and think-tanks like the Pew Research Center in the US host a variety of useful data.

2 / Tech companies platforms

Tech giants have access to mountains of data, some of which is made available by Google through their Google Trends tool. Google also share open public data through their Public Data directory.

3 / Global organisations

Taking a more global view, a variety of organisations with a stake in global development track and share useful indicators and demographics from around the world including the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and, somewhat surprisingly the CIA.

To put a more human face to this kind of data, try Gapminder which specialises in bringing the lives of people around the world to life in visual ways with a heavy emphasis on ethnography and photography in things like their Dollar Street data set.

4 / Subscription-based statistics platforms

Finally, not a free platform but a very helpful one all the same is Statista which aggregates insights and facts across industries and countries and makes them available on a subscription basis.

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