Data Sets: What is it, Where can you find free Datasets & Tools to Collect Datasets

Are you new to the term data set? Then come in now to discover all you need to know about data sets. Learn about the types, sources, and how the Internet is a huge data set for businesses and research agencies.

Data Sets

Every person's decision is a result of the information that is available to them. By extension, this also applies to companies. Simply said, decisions are made by people at different levels of an organization. Data-driven decision-making is a painstaking process that produces information derived from specific factors and metrics. Sowing initiative ideas and critical thinking are essential components of creating company concepts.

When business models and plans are based on readily accessible statistics, business owners are eager to invest and commit their resources to put them into practice. More crucially, obtaining the appropriate data sets is necessary for reaching the objective of a data-driven decision. Even prior to its execution, the datasets at hand are crucial to the success or failure of any organization. In this article, we will take a look at data sets, the types, sources, and tools for generating data sets from the Internet.

Datasets: What Are They?

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Datasets are collections of information that contain several linked items contained within them or are filled with them. A dataset, in plain English, is a collection of organized data about a certain variable, object, person, or location.

In essence, it is a group of data that can be organized in tables, graphs, lines, or another way that sets it apart from other variables of different types. A dataset is any grouping of statistics or values that pertains to a specific topic. One such dataset is each employee's wage in a company.

Simply described, a dataset is a group of data that has often been organized in a structured style and is typically utilized for an analysis or machine learning project. A dataset might be as straightforward as a spreadsheet with one data table, or it can be a more complicated collection of data arranged into numerous tables, with links between the data represented by keys or other techniques. Datasets can be kept in a number of different formats, including databases, flat files (like CSV or TSV), and specialized formats like HDF5 or Parquet.

Types of Datasets

Types of Datasets

Datasets used to make well-informed judgments come in many different forms. The characteristics of such a set of data greatly influence the type of information it can represent and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. Therefore, the type of data to be sourced depends on the type of information needed or the type of decision anticipated to be made. Just to name a few, the major dataset kinds are:

  • Text-Based Datasets

The majority of datasets fall into this category. Any data that is shown as text is referred to as text data. This can include printed materials like books, articles, and reports as well as digital content from things like emails, posts on social media, and other kinds of online correspondence.

Text data can be saved and analyzed using a range of methods and technologies, such as machine learning, text mining, and natural language processing (NLP) algorithms. These methods can be applied to text data to extract insights, spot trends, and carry out various other forms of analysis.

  • Figure Based Datasets

Figure data is a term used to describe information that is displayed visually, such as in a graph or chart. This kind of information can be especially helpful for comprehending and conveying complex information because it is frequently used to illustrate trends, patterns, and relationships within a dataset.

Data can be represented using a wide variety of graphs, such as bar charts, line graphs, scatter plots, and pie charts. A wide range of tools and methods, such as statistical software and data visualization tools, can be used to create and evaluate figure data. Additionally, the nature of this type of data is numerical.

  • Image Based Datasets

Many pieces of information are available as pictures and infographics. These can be either written or numerical data. Regardless, graphics is a useful tool for conveying information to a big audience in a clear and understandable manner for all audience levels. Until recently, web data extraction techniques could not be used to extract data from photos.

Instead, a manual method of data extraction is used. It is now simple to extract data from photographs thanks to the technology that is available for data extraction and web harvesting. Images have so served as one of the main foundations on which data sets are stored.

  • Audio Based Datasets

Audio data sets provide an additional source of information for entrepreneurs, academic researchers, and governmental organizations. Since the dawn of time, this has been a standard method of information storage. You can quickly record vocal or spoken data as an audio file for further reference.

Radio transmission is an additional method of reaching a large audience with information. A dataset that is audio-based is one that is obtained or saved via a telephone, radio, or other non-visual media. This is one of the media company's competing datasets with the video-based data set. These kinds of databases contain a lot of the information that is available to you today in the media.

  • Video-Based Datasets

A video dataset is a collection of video data used for a particular task, such as developing a machine-learning model, researching a certain occurrence, or examining human behavior. It can contain a wide variety of video formats, including user-generated content, movie sequences, sports footage, and surveillance footage.

Time stamps, labels, and other metadata that offer context and information about the video data may be present in video datasets. A video dataset could additionally include other data sources that can be used to glean new insights or features, such as audio recordings, sensor readings, or text transcripts.

Due to the volume of data and the complexity of the data structure, video datasets can be hard to gather, store, and interpret. However, they can be quite helpful for a number of applications, such as video analysis, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Sources of Public Datasets

Sources of Public Datasets

Public data is information that the general public can easily access and does not fall under the category of secret data. In other words, no institution or body has to grant you permission to utilize these types of data. However, if you use such material, you must give credit to the data's original owner. The following are just a few of the numerous places you can find public data:

  • Governmental organizations

The governments of different nations have research institutes, bureaus, agencies, and ministries that carry out specific studies, polls, and tests. The results of these activities produce data and information that can be used for further research by other entities or persons. Consequently, it is one of the available data sources.

  • Internet

Since the advent of the global web, the internet has been the main source of datasets. No other source has as many datasets as the internet does today. In actuality, the internet offers the broadest selection of info. The other data providers download information from the internet and post publicly available information online.

  • Media organizations

Media materials and files make up a sizable portion of public data sources. In addition, after the internet, the media has been the main source of information and data for the general public. Many governmental organizations release public information via radio stations and television networks.

  • Academic Institutions and Bodies

In many nations, higher education institutions are the pinnacle of academic study. These organizations gather data and make it available to the public for use.

  • Social organizations and NGOs

Several private organizations perform social surveys and experiments; collaborative organizations and social groups carry out social experiments and compile data for public use.

18 Sites to Find & Download Free Datasets


Kaggle is not just another platform for aggregated datasets, but rather a community center for data enthusiasts. Established in 2010, Kaggle initially focused on hosting machine learning competitions, which saw solutions developed for major organizations like NASA and Ford.

Over time, Kaggle has evolved into a well-respected open data platform, providing cloud-based collaboration tools for data scientists, educational resources for AI and data analysis, and most importantly, a vast collection of datasets on a wide range of topics.

AWS Public Datasets

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: Large number of datasets are available on AWS public datasets
  • Access: Free, Accessible through AWS Cloud or direct download
  • Sample dataset: Common Crawl Corpus, NASA NEX Datasets

AWS Public Datasets offer a vast collection of data covering various topics such as geography, scientific research, and more. These datasets are easily accessible through the AWS Cloud and can be directly downloaded. The datasets are well-structured and maintained, ensuring data quality and reliability.

With a large number of datasets available, AWS Public Datasets are a great resource for researchers, data scientists, and developers looking to work on new projects. Whether you’re looking to dive into a specific field of research or just explore new data, AWS Public Datasets are the perfect starting point.

Google's Dataset Search

  • Where to download,
  • The One-Stop-Shop for Data
  • Type of data: Miscellaneous
  • Data compiled by: Google
  • Access: Free search with fee-based results
  • Sample dataset: Global Price of Coffee, 1990 to Present

Google has proven to be a versatile tool in our daily lives, and data search is no exception. The Google Dataset Search, launched in 2018, functions like a standard Google search engine, but specifically for data. If you're looking for a specific topic or keyword, this search engine is the perfect place to start.

Google Dataset Search aggregates data from external sources, providing a clear and concise summary of the available information, including a description of the data, who it is provided by, and when it was last updated.

Yelp Open Dataset

  • Yelp Open Dataset is a valuable resource for data scientists and researchers who are looking to analyze and study business data.
  • Availability: The Yelp Open Dataset is publicly available for non-commercial use.
  • Access: Access to the Yelp Open Dataset is free, but requires agreement to the terms and conditions of Yelp’s Open Data Access Agreement.
  • Sample dataset: A sample dataset includes information on over 6 million businesses, including business name, location, categories, star rating, review count, and more.

The Yelp Open Dataset is a comprehensive collection of business data from the popular review website Yelp. The dataset provides valuable insights into the business landscape and can be used to understand customer preferences, market trends, and business performance.

Whether you're a researcher looking to study customer behavior, a data scientist exploring new trends, or a business owner seeking to gain a competitive advantage, the Yelp Open Dataset is a powerful tool for uncovering meaningful insights.

Inside Airbnb

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: The datasets are freely available on the Inside Airbnb website.
  • Access: Access to the datasets is free and does not require registration.
  • Sample dataset: Airbnb Listings data for Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Inside Airbnb is an independent, non-commercial website that offers a wealth of information about Airbnb listings and hosts worldwide.

The datasets offered by Inside Airbnb are created from publicly available data, and provide insights into the number of listings, their distribution, and the characteristics of hosts and guests.

These datasets are an excellent resource for researchers, policymakers, journalists, and anyone interested in understanding the impact of Airbnb on local housing markets and communities. The data is updated regularly, ensuring that the information remains relevant and up-to-date.


  • Where to find,
  • Availability: GitHub offers a vast collection of free datasets, ranging from small datasets to large datasets. It is one of the largest open-source platforms for developers, making it a hub for data science and machine learning enthusiasts.
  • Access: To access the datasets, all you need is a GitHub account. With a single click, you can download any dataset that you need. You can also easily contribute to existing datasets or create new datasets and share them with the community.
  • Sample dataset: One of the popular datasets on GitHub is the Titanic dataset, which contains data on passengers who were on the Titanic ship when it sank in 1912. It is widely used for machine learning and data analysis projects.

GitHub is a perfect platform for data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts to access free datasets. With its large and growing community, you can access and contribute to a vast collection of datasets, making it an excellent resource for data-driven projects. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced data scientist, GitHub has something to offer you.

UCI Machine Learning Repository

  • Where to download,
  • Data Type: Machine learning
  • Source: University of California Irvine
  • Access: Free, No registration required
  • Example Dataset: Urban traffic behavior in Sao Paulo, Brazil

If you're looking for a specific type of data, consider exploring the UCI Machine Learning Repository. This repository, established by the University of California Irvine over 30 years ago, has established a strong reputation among students, teachers, and researchers as a premier destination for machine learning data.

The datasets are well organized and categorized by task (e.g. classification, regression, or clustering), attribute (e.g. categorical or numerical), data type, and area of expertise, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your machine learning project.

  • Where to download,
  • Source of Data: US Federal Government Compiled by: US Federal Government
  • Accessibility: Free and Accessible without registration
  • Sample Dataset: Report on Transshipment and Sales of Lobster

Data.Gov offers a vast collection of datasets from the US Federal Government, with over 200,000 datasets covering various topics such as climate change, crime, and more.

The website provides an easy-to-use search function allowing you to filter your search results based on geographical area, organization type, and file format.

Search results are also clearly labeled by levels of government, including federal, state, county, and city levels. If you're seeking data on US citizens, their geography, education, and population growth, the US Census Bureau is a great resource to explore.


  • Where to download,
  • Availability: Miscellaneous
  • datasets Compiled by: Quandl
  • Access: Free, with registration required
  • Sample dataset: Stock prices for Apple Inc. (AAPL)

If you're looking for a wide range of data that you can trust, look no further than Quandl. This platform offers a vast array of datasets covering finance, economics, energy, and much more. Quandl's datasets are sourced from reputable organizations, such as the World Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the United Nations, and are updated regularly to ensure the highest quality.

In addition to its diverse data offerings, Quandl is user-friendly and easy to navigate. You can search for specific datasets or browse through the platform's categories, and once you find a dataset that interests you, you can download it with just a few clicks.

If you're looking to analyze financial data, Quandl is especially valuable. In addition to stock prices, you'll find data on futures, options, and other financial instruments. Whether you're a student, a researcher, or a professional, Quandl's datasets are sure to meet your needs.


  • Where to download,
  • Availability: The FiveThirtyEight dataset is available online and accessible to the public.
  • Access: The dataset can be accessed for free, with no registration required. Simply visit the FiveThirtyEight website and navigate to their datasets section to explore and download the data.
  • Sample dataset: A popular sample dataset offered by FiveThirtyEight is the “The Ultimate Halloween Candy Power Ranking” dataset, which features data on over 85,000 candy rankings from a 2014 survey.

FiveThirtyEight is a data journalism website that provides a wealth of information and insights on a range of topics, from politics and economics to sports and pop culture.

The website's free dataset section offers a treasure trove of high-quality, publicly available data that has been collected, cleaned, and analyzed by FiveThirtyEight's team of expert data journalists and statisticians.

Whether you're a student, researcher, or data enthusiast, FiveThirtyEight's free dataset is a valuable resource for anyone looking to dive deeper into data and gain a better understanding of the world around us.

  • Where to download,
  • Your Go-To for Business and Finance Data
  • Type of data: Focused on Business and Finance
  • Access: Mostly Free, No Sign-Up Required
  • Sample dataset: Mass of Glaciers Since 1945 – Average

Data-driven decisions are key to a successful business strategy. And when it comes to finding relevant data, look no further than Datahub. This data portal offers a range of subjects, from climate change to entertainment, with a heavy emphasis on finance and business data.

Whether it's tracking stock market trends, property prices, inflation rates, or logistics, you'll find up-to-date and comprehensive information at your fingertips. With monthly, or even daily updates, Datahub ensures you always have fresh insights to help guide your business forward.”

Lancet COVID-19

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: Online Access: Free, no registration required
  • Sample dataset: COVID-19 cases and deaths by country

The Lancet COVID-19 dataset provides access to up-to-date information on the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains data on cases and deaths by country, as well as information on demographics, healthcare systems, and public health measures.

The data is updated regularly and is a valuable resource for researchers, policymakers, and anyone interested in understanding the ongoing spread of COVID-19. With this dataset, you can gain insights into the pandemic's impact at a global and local level, and support evidence-based decision making.


  • Availability: The OpenStreetMap dataset is available to anyone in the world for free.
  • Access: The data can be accessed through APIs, as well as being available for bulk download in a variety of formats. There is no requirement for registration or payment to access the data.
  • Sample dataset: OpenStreetMap provides data on the geographic features of the world, including information on roads, buildings, parks, lakes, and more. A sample dataset could include the road network of a particular city or the outline of national parks in a specific country.

OpenStreetMap is an open-source project that aims to create a free and editable map of the world. It provides high-quality geospatial data that can be used for a variety of applications, such as navigation systems, geographic information systems, and data visualization.

The data is constantly updated by a community of volunteers, ensuring that it remains accurate and relevant. OpenStreetMap offers a unique opportunity to access high-quality geospatial data without the need for licensing or payment, making it an ideal resource for individuals, researchers, and organizations alike.

British Film Institute Film Industry Statistics

If you're in search of data that's easy to understand, then BFI film industry statistics may be just what you need. The British Film Institute collects and releases data on various aspects of the UK film industry, including box office figures, audience demographics, home entertainment, production costs, and more.

The highlight of it all is the annual statistical yearbook, which provides a comprehensive breakdown of the year's data, along with insightful statistical analysis and visually appealing reports. This is perfect for those new to data analytics, as it serves as a reference for your own work.”

Zillow Prize Home Value

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: The Zillow Prize Home Value dataset is available online and can be accessed through the Zillow Prize website.
  • Access: Access to the Zillow Prize Home Value dataset is free, but requires registration. Once registered, you can download the dataset and start working with it.
  • Sample dataset: The Zillow Prize Home Value dataset contains information on various aspects of home values, such as location, size, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc. A sample of the dataset would include data on a particular city, such as San Francisco, California, and the average home values for different neighborhoods in that city.

The Zillow Prize Home Value dataset is a large and comprehensive dataset that provides information on home values across the United States. It is updated regularly, ensuring that you always have access to the latest information.

Whether you're a data analyst, a real estate agent, or a home buyer, the Zillow Prize Home Value dataset is an invaluable resource for understanding the current state of the housing market. With this data, you can make informed decisions about buying, selling, or investing in real estate.

New York Times Developer Network

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: The New York Times Developer Network is readily available for use.
  • Access: Access to the New York Times Developer Network requires registration and approval from the New York Times. Access to some data and APIs may require a paid subscription.
  • Sample dataset: The New York Times API provides access to articles, blog posts, multimedia, and other content from the New York Times. A sample dataset could include recent articles on politics, sports, technology, or any other topic covered by the New York Times.

The New York Times Developer Network provides access to a wealth of information and data from one of the world's leading news organizations.

With a wide range of articles, blog posts, multimedia, and other content, the New York Times Developer Network is an excellent resource for developers, researchers, and journalists.

Whether you're building a new application or conducting research, the New York Times Developer Network has the data you need to get the job done.

Enigma Public

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: Enigma Public datasets are available 24/7, making it easy for users to access them whenever they need to.
  • Access: Enigma Public datasets are free to access and can be found through the Enigma Public website. No registration is required, making it convenient for users to find and use the data they need.
  • Sample dataset: One of the popular sample datasets available on Enigma Public is the “US Crime Statistics” dataset, which provides information on crime incidents and arrests across the United States.

Enigma Public is a platform that provides access to a wide range of public data sources. It includes data from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other sources, making it a great resource for data scientists, researchers, and analysts.

The data is organized, cleaned, and made available in an easy-to-use format, enabling users to quickly find the data they need. With a focus on transparency and accessibility, Enigma Public provides valuable insights into some of the most important issues facing the world today.

Global Health Observatory Data Repository

  • Where to download,
  • Availability: The Global Health Observatory (GHO) Data Repository is available online through the UN World Health Organization (WHO) website.
  • Access: The GHO Data Repository is free to access and does not require any registration.
  • Sample dataset: Polio immunization coverage estimates by region is just one of the many datasets available through the GHO Data Repository.

The Global Health Observatory Data Repository, maintained by the UN World Health Organization, is a comprehensive source of health-related statistics from around the world. The repository provides data on a wide range of topics including polio immunization coverage estimates, malaria, HIV/AIDS, antimicrobial resistance, and vaccination rates.

This resource is particularly useful for data scientists interested in breaking into the healthcare industry and those interested in applying machine learning in this field. Accessing the data is easy and free, with no registration required. The portal also has a useful feature that allows you to preview data tables before downloading them.

The Internet as a Large Dataset Source

Data stream, conceptual artwork

The greatest location to look for any dataset you need for your company or organization is online. Numerous websites that are hosted online have a ton of information about it. It would be laborious to manually obtain the data by visiting each website.

Thankfully, technology has advanced enough to handle the acquisition of large amounts of data. The instrument that allows the general public access to the enormous dataset that is available on the internet is the online data extraction method.

Web Scraping; Method of Web Data Extraction

Web Scraping

When carried out manually and in an old-fashioned manner, data extraction from web pages can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. However, it has become simple with the invention of web extraction tools that can scan and penetrate online pages to gather data.

These web data extractors are bots that gather data from web pages and prepare it in various ways using specified codes. The market is filled with different extractors. We shall discuss the top web data extraction techniques in this article.

Top 5 Data Extraction Tool for Collecting Datasets

Although there are many different data extraction tools on the market, what sets them apart are their distinctive qualities and particular features. To put it another way, some web data are straightforward and may be used without any coding or programming knowledge.

However, many of these are only accessible to those with a background in coding and programming. The top 5 web data extractors are described in detail below.

1. Bright Data Collector – Overall Best Web Data Extraction

Bright Data Collector Guide for Data Source

In combination with proxy services, Bright Data is by far the best web data provider. It has what you can consider the best web data extractor overall. For some domains, this service has specialist data extractors. As a result, you can gather statistics by category, website term, and URL.

Those with technical backgrounds can customize their web data scraper with brilliant data collectors. It's interesting that the data output can be in both JSON AND CSV (Table or Flat) files. More significantly, you will only be charged for each Scraping that is successful.

2. ParseHub – Best for Non-Coder

ParseHub Guide for Data Source

If you wish to use an extractor to get data from the internet but lack coding knowledge, you should use ParseHub. A free and simple-to-use web scraping tool is this one. As easy as clicking, indeed. The websites will be crawled, and the data will be presented to you in the manner you specify.

As a result, it downloads the collected data in Excel, JSON, and API forms. Utilizing a rotating proxy, this web extractor operates. As a result, it hides your true IP and prevents blacklisting. It also provides cloud-based storage for the data you've collected. Consequently, you can harvest it for later use. Additionally, it has a function for scheduled web scraping.

3. Apify – Best for Coders

Apify Overview

While non-programmers can utilize ParseHub with ease, Apify is best for people who have programming and coding experience. The best web data extractor available to coders, without a doubt. You can use this tool to extract data from any website into an API. Apify utilizes smart rotation of both residential and datacenter proxies.

As a result, they are quick and highly anonymous on the websites they scrape. Other document formats are accessible for download through Apify. The extractor's development and interface are outstanding, which is most significant. In spite of this, the extraction tool simply scrapes data. In order to collect the desired datasets, a coder can calibrate them.

4. – Best Free Web Data Extraction Tool

Webscraper Overview

With this web scraper, more than 400k users are collecting web data for free. In general, it offers the best free online data. Like Parsehub, using the tool doesn't require any coding knowledge. As a result, it makes web data extraction straightforward and easy. This is a modern web scraper as you can use it to scrape all kinds of web pages, including Ajaxified pages.

Additionally, this web scraper does have support for image scraping, also using a point-and-click interface. The retrieved data can be exported in a variety of formats. Particularly, the web supports file types, including CSV, XLSX, and JSON. All the data is easily exportable to Dropbox and Google Sheets and accessible via API and webhook.

5. Helium Scraper  – One-time Payment Option

Helium Scraper Homepage

Helium Scraper is the last web data extraction tool on the list. One of the most advanced web data extractors is this one. This data harvester can be used with a specific website on several tabs and is really fast. The workflow and interface are self-explanatory and straightforward. Helium scrapers can be modified to provide users with the info they want.

With 140 terabytes of data, it is effective at handling massive volumes of data. It can generate tables and integrate APIs into projects, automate list and table identification features, as well as a rotating proxy.

You can choose between exporting the extracted data in JSON, CSV, XML, Excel, and SQLite formats. Flexible one-time payment options for premium services are a standout feature.

FAQs About Data Sets

Yes! Scraping open data from web pages is a legitimate activity. Public data on the internet can be used freely with or without the website owners' consent. However, a lot of the pages dislike being crawled by bots. As a result, some scrapers are blocked when they lack proxies to modify and switch IP addresses.

You should also take into consideration local laws. As a result, it may be illegal to use such data for criminal activity, pose as another person, or sell public information without authorization. It suffices to remark that the land's prevailing data rights should be taken into account.

Q. Why Do I need a Web Data Extractor?

There are also several pages providing information that is comparable to what is wanted. Visit each of these pages, then choose all the info or copy it, then paste it one after the other. It will take longer to organize them because it will take more time.

Simply put, saving time and money by automating the collection of all data from those web pages. Additionally, the scrapers produce data in easily analyzed forms like Excel, JSON, CSV, and others that are useable and well-organized.


The availability of numerous datasets from free online sources allows for a wide range of data. The internet is a primary source of the dataset, but it is so big and contains so much information that it is impossible to collect it all.

Thankfully, the invention of web data scrapers eliminates the stress that would have been associated with manually collecting data on the web.

In conclusion, before using a scraper, it is crucial to consider its type and usability. Utilize web data extraction to gather a diverse dataset from which you may draw conclusions that are well-informed.

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