10 Great Places to Find Datasets for Infographics
Creating an infographic is an excellent way to break down complex information and statistics into an easy-to-follow visual that is designed with your target audience in mind. Infographics have grown in popularity because they are easy to share and a simple tactic for promoting a business. Perhaps you’ve considered incorporating infographics into your content marketing strategy. Where do you start? Where do you find the information you need to create an infographic in the first place?
Tips for Getting Started
Before looking for data, it’s critical that you gain a basic understanding of what works for infographics and what doesn’t. There are things to do that will better the chances of your infographic being a success, as well as certain things that should be avoided at all costs.
First, look around and find a few infographics that are appealing to you. Browse sites like Visual.ly or Visualizing.org to see lots of different design styles and data visualizations in one place. Keep an eye out for unique or innovative visualizations that you could gain inspiration from for your own project. Also keep out for confusing visualizations that are either hard to understand or simply don’t convey the information correctly. Understanding what kind of data you can visualize and what you can’t will make it easier for you to seek out and identify resources you can use.
To create a successful infographic, it’s also important to use fresh information from reliable sources. Always check the date on your research and try to see if newer information exists. Obviously, user generated information on blogs and Wikipedia are not solid sources, but they could be a good jumping off point for your research. Take what you learned while browsing infographics communities about what works and what doesn’t for visualization and keep this in mind while you research.
The next step is to gather the actual data. Using a variety of sources is critical for providing information that your readers haven’t seen in a single collection. It allows for a sense of renewed interest, even in a commonly visualized or discussed area. Here are ten places to start your search.
- Government Websites
Information from official government agencies and sites is reliable and easy to find. Sites like data.gov, data.gov.uk, census.gov and any other website ending in “.gov” can be trusted. When looking for an official data source, these sites are solid starting points.Census data can be used in obvious ways, or in less obvious applications – think outside the box about how demographic information could be useful to you. One outside-the-box example is this infographic, which compares Census employment data to a statistical measurement “years of potential life lost” to determine how many potential people in different industries have potentially been lost to substance abuse. It’s unusual, but striking.
- Google’s Public Data Directory
Google – known for providing relevant search results and information for searchers – can be a good place to find data for infographics. The network’s Public Data Directory provides validated datasets in graph and text formats that can be easily searched and narrowed down. The site is straightforward and easy to use. Just make sure the research is up to date; sometimes the directory lags behind the most up to date sources.
Reddit’s Datasets Archive is a place for avid fans of data to share their findings and work together tracking down that elusive set of statistical information you’re looking for. From mileage charts to OPTA soccer statistics, nothing is off limits. The search function makes it easy to check for datasets in your industry. Maybe the availability of a nice set of data will inspire your next infographic.
Infochimp’s Data Marketplace makes hard-to-find data and statistics available for free download or occasionally purchase. If you don’t have time to do the research and need credible data quickly, it’s worth looking into. Currently popular datasets include “60,000+ Documented UFO Sightings with Text Descriptions and Metadata” and a list of US postal codes. However, users can search the site to find other sets of data.
For brands looking for information on a more global scale or looking for statistics relating to international affairs and situations, UNData is full of helpful facts that are validated, authoritative and official. With regular updates pulled from social media feeds, the site is also a great place to find ideas for a new infographic.
- Visual.ly Visual.ly Community is a place to share infographics and connect with other infographic creators. Not only is it a great place to interact with others publishing this content, but it’s a great place to get design inspiration, as well as explore similar infographics. Check out the sources they list to see where other businesses and publishers in your industry are getting their information; you might find some really unique resources that way.
- DataMarket DataMarket provides complex and diverse datasets from in-house providers and third parties. Datasets are available for purchase in chart formats that are easy to digest and follow. Creating infographics from this material could not be simpler.
- Number Of Number Of provides straightforward counts pertaining to “number of” searches. These range from “number of Pokemon” to “number of McDonald’s employees.” New reports are published daily and the database is searchable, making it easy to find the answers to specific questions on the go.
- Gallup Polls Sometimes gauging audience response levels are critical for pulling together infographic data. Gallup Polls combine world events and news with statistical data based on ongoing polls. Known for its reliability, information found on this site is perfect for creating infographics.
- Get the Data Sometimes a little direction is helpful in finding specific statistical data that you may be searching for to include in an infographic. Get the Data is essentially an online community created to provide answers and assistance in finding datasets. When you have a question, this site makes it easy to find answers and to receive assistance.
Remember, the most important part of creating an infographic is that the data is accurate and from a trusted source. Regardless of which site or database you use to find your data, it is good practice to fact check the numbers. Infographics are a great way to break down your product or services for your audience. The resources above are designed to help you get started in the process.