Data isn’t just for investigative reporters. Numbers are the basis for any business story. Where to find them? Try these sources.
Google Public Data
Google has a free public data visualization tool. Through it, you can access data sets from governments around the world. Select which variables you’re interested in. Google Public Data will create a data visualization for you that you can embed in your story. You can also import your own data sets for Google Public to visualize.
NICAR Data Library
On the IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors) website, you can access the NICAR Data Library – data sets spanning multiple topics, from consolidated federal funds reports to federal campaign contributions. While the site does contain some sets that are no longer current, it’s a useful jumping off point. Knowing a list exists means you can look for the more recent version from the original source.
The U.S. government maintains Data.gov. The site contains hundreds of data sets spanning fields such business, finance and education. Choosing a category will give you all the related data sets. These can contain some very obscure information, so it is worth digging through all of them to see what info pops up and what story ideas that might generate.
The World Bank
The World Bank collects financial and economic statistics on every country for which that information is available, and presents it in an easy-to-read format. For the U.S., you’ll see data on World Development Indicators, economic forecasts, finance, climate change and more. You can also download data sets for offline use and compare multiple countries’ numbers.