There’s an abundance of free information and data out there and it’s increasing by the second – why not put it to good use? Free resources like this can be used to explore current global issues in your next research project, develop and refine data analysis skills or feed fascinating experiments in data visualisation!
Open data is freely available, easily accessible and is usually under a Creative Commons licence that allows it to be used openly with attribution.
Here are some common (and interesting) open data sites to get started:
- Data.gov.au – a searchable collection of various Australian federal, state and local government open datasets. All datasets are sourced from various Australian Government organisations.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – browse through open datasets on the census, population data and more.
- Research Data Australia – find and access research from various Australian research organisations, government agencies, and cultural institutions (filter by ‘Open’ access and ‘Data’ type).
- Data.NSW – searchable collection of various NSW Government open data. Datasets are sourced from various NSW open data portals, including:
- Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) – open data on crime, court and custody in NSW
- Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) – NSW education datasets
- HealthStats NSW – explore NSW health statistics and access datasets
- TfNSW Open Data – datasets for all public transport modes and roads
- Other states’ searchable collection of government open data: ACT, QLD, NT, SA, TAS, VIC, WA
- City-specific: City of Sydney Data hub, City of Melbourne Open Data
- Google Public Data – search for public datasets from all over the internet, or use Google Dataset Search to find more datasets to use (filter by ‘Free’ to find open data).
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics – browse through open international datasets and publications on education, science, culture, and communication.
- Our World in Data – continuously updated open data on global issues, including COVID-19.
For something a little different…
- FiveThirtyEight – open data on interesting topics, such as How Popular is Donald Trump? and The Ultimate Halloween Candy Power Ranking.
- Awesome Public Datasets – collection of mostly free public datasets on github.
- Kaggle – collection of freely accessible public datasets from the community with various topics, such as Avocado Prices and Wine Reviews.
- Data Is Plural – subscribe to Data Is Plural and it will send you 5 interesting datasets each week, or check out the spreadsheet with all the past datasets.
Where to find more
There are endless open data portals and collections on the web and most are easy to find. Search for a topic with the phrase “open data” in your search engine, and you will find plenty of websites providing open data from government agencies, institutions or independent groups.
You might need to be wary of the legitimacy of independently-sourced datasets. Journey through Data, a short UTS Open taster course, helps you get started on looking at data with a critical eye and explore your own biases and assumptions.
The UTS Library also has an extensive list of datasets and statistics available in a study guide and instructions on how to cite data. You can also keep a collection of all your open data sources with the new UTS Library Reading List and access them directly from Canvas.
If you’d like to share any other awesome open data sources, let us know by leaving a comment below!