100 Helpful Data Sources for Content Creation

data sources for content
data sources for content

Data storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to create compelling content. It resonates with both emotion-driven and reason-driven readers, provides objective, evidence-based support for your content, and increases your brand’s legitimacy in the eyes of your audiences.

But it’s not always easy to find reliable content data sources for the topics you’re covering. The search process can be time consuming, and when you do it as you go, you risk missing a great resource during your quick search.

To help, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 100 data sources for content covering a wide range of topics for you to save and reference whenever you need it. The sources on this list are reputable, friendly to navigate, engaging and free to access!

The Content Marketing Gurus

  • Content Marketing Institute – CMI is a treasure trove for content marketing related data and statistics. Their “Research” and “Resources” tabs are full of research they’ve conducted themselves and in partnership with other brands. Their published  reports cover all facets of content marketing (ex: their first few listed reports include B2C, manufacturing, technology, B2B, enterprise, and small business).
  • Hubspot – Another trusted content marketing resource, Hubspot publishes some of its own research and data (like their annual State of Marketing Report) and their blog is also rich with sourced statistics related to content marketing topics.
  • BuzzSumo – BuzzSumo does large-scale content marketing research (two of their most recent reports analyzed 400K content marketing articles and 100m headlines) for high-level insights complete with visuals that make the data digestible. Their blogs are also filled with stats and data, and developers will find their API docs useful.
  • Moz – Moz’s free SEO analysis tools will give you valuable internal and competitive data insights, and their blog contains tons of SEO-related stats and insights. Use their free tool to do a domain analysis on your website, too (see Google’s below).

Google Domain Analysis by Moz

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  • SEMRush – The SEMRush tool itself offers a plethora of market research, keyword, and other SEO data. But even if you’re just browning their free resources, you’ll find plenty of stats, data, and research on their blog and in their dozens of free ebooks.
  • OptinMonster – OptinMonster focuses on helping customers create websites that convert. Their blog is full of guides, examples, and case studies with data accompanied by visuals like charts and graphs.
  • Neil Patel – One of the biggest personalities in the content marketing world, Neil Patel’s website and YouTube channel both provide data and insights on tons of content marketing topics. He is a trusted resource that offers first hand examples about how his tips and tricks worked for him.
  • Copyblogger – Copyblogger aims to help content creators succeed. Their blog is filled with articles offering valuable advice and insight backed by reliable and insightful data, research, and statistics.
  • MarketingSherpa – MarketingSherpa is a self-proclaimed research institute for marketers. Browse their free research and guides as well as their article database (that dates back 20+ years!) for a full library of useful data and other information.
  • Ahrefs – Ahrefs SEO tool will give you deep insights into your brand’s performance. Their free resources like their blog, beginner’s guide to SEO, and free training videos also include market data and other insightful SEO research and best practices.

Social Media Data Sources

  • Social Media Research Foundation – Focused on research related to contemporary “network society,” the Social Media Research Foundation uses the NodeXL tool to publish deep analytic research on social media and online networks.
  • Buffer – Buffer helps brands expand their reach on social media and the tool itself provides deep social media analytic insights to its users. Their blog is full of social media related studies, articles, and research that includes both market-wide insights and specific case studies and examples.
  • Sprout Social – Sprout Social has a data-dedicated section of their website that lists their published research on all things social media. Their blog, resource center, and case studies are also full of data-driven insights and statistics.
  • Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a go-to brand for social media insights and their resources don’t disappoint. Reports, blog articles, trend analyses, case studies and more are available for free on their website. All are full of data, stats, and other valuable, usable insights.
  • Social Pilot – Try their free tool, ShareIt, as a way to curate content related to any content marketing topic you can think of. Check out the Social Pilot blog articles and e-books for market insights and case study examples.
  • Social Media Examiner – The Examiner publishes reports and blog articles with social media data and insights throughout, and also covers topics that help you as the user better understand how you can find, analyze, and leverage your own brand’s data.
  • Social Mention – Enter any topic, brand, or keyword for a free overview analysis of its user-generated content, including number of mentions, sentiment, related keywords, top users and more.
  • Twitter Developer Platform – Developers will find the API tools for Twitter (and Facebook and LinkedIn — see items 19-20) to access data around posts, users, trends, engagement, ads and more.

Big Data Resources

  • Statista – Statista has the numbers on just about any data point you’re interested in across topics, sectors, and regions. Their published reports offer even deeper insights and their database is easily searchable and sortable.
  • Google Public Data Explorer – Google’s public data web app allows users to easily search and interact with public data sets from a variety of international and academic institutions. It’s a great tool for quickly finding reputable data sources and datasets around particular topics.
  • Gallup – Gallup may be known for its public opinion polls, but you’ll also find a trove of historical and world news, data, and research on their website that you can access mostly for free.
  • Google Trends – Enter any topic you can think of and get instant insights into search trends, interest by demographic or region, and comparisons with other terms and topics
  • Google Scholar – A one-stop-shop for searching and browsing scholarly literature
  • Pew Research Center – The Pew Research Center covers a wide range of topics from politics to religion to the internet to generations to economics. They offer data insights in the forms of feature stories, fact sheets, videos, and data essays.
  • Chartr – If you love visual data (your readers definitely do) then Chartr is the place for you. They offer charts on just about any topic related to business, entertainment, and the arts. Check out this one about how Game of Thrones influenced baby names in England.

Name of Thrones Graphic

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  • Kaggle – You can explore Kaggle’s datasets yourself or read their insightful blog, which is full of case studies and stories about how brands and organizations are using Kaggle to find useful data.
  • Data Sets Subreddit – Browse Reddit for data discussions and sourced datasets in response to user inquiries.
  • Gapminder – Gapminder aims to create objective, reliable data resources that helps combat misconceptions about global trends and topics. Start with their enlightening blog and explore data using their tools like maps, charts, and other visual data representations.
  • Amazon Web Services – Shared datasets on AWS give insight into a wide range of topics and allow developers to use it for building new applications and services.
  • DBpedia – DBpedia is a crowdsourced knowledge base that extracts structured data content from various Wiki projects. Browse datasets, graphs, and other core releases but know you’ll need to have some basic developer knowledge to navigate it well.

Journalism Data

  • The Upshot by The New York Times – News that includes data analysis and visualization from The New York Times. The Upshot covers the same wide range of topics as the newspaper but with more data-driven insights and deeper dives into statistics behind current events and trends.
  • Vox – An edgier version of the news with plenty of data-driven insights throughout, including visual representations to bring them to life.
  • FiveThirtyEight – Run by ABC, FiveThirtyEight analyzes data and weaves it into stories that cover politics, sports, economics and more.

Government/World Data

  • U.S. Census Bureau – Free access to United States economic, demographic, and population data.
  • CIA World Factbook – One of the most interesting content data sources on our list, the CIA World Factbook provides free access to history, population, culture, government, geography, environmental, military (and more!) data for countries around the world.
  • World Bank Open Data – Offers open and free access to huge volumes of data around global development topics like poverty, sustainability, trade and more.
  • Our World in Data – Easy access to data-driven articles, statistics, studies, charts, and graphs addressing the largest problems faced by our world today.
  • Data.gov – The U.S. Government’s easily searchable official source of open data.
  • Worldometer – Real-time (literally, you’ll see the tickers moving when you visit the site) worldwide statistics about everything from annual births and deaths to new book titles to emails sent in a day. Worldometer has been a popular source of worldwide COVID-19 case number tracking for the general public.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Free access to data about labor markets, employment, working conditions, the U.S. economy and other economic insights for the United States.
  • UN Data – A single entry point open to all web users for international statistical databases.
  • European Union Open Data Portal – Europe’s official open data portal, covering issues ranging from sports and culture to government to the environment to population to science and plenty more.
  • UNICEF – Data about issues related to women and children around the world, easily searched by topic or region. Don’t miss UNICEF’s insightful blog that pulls in important data sources related to issues they’re covering.
  • Knoema – Knoema is an absolute goldmine of global data that’s easily searchable. Their blog is as good as it gets when it comes to data-driven stories — interesting topics, visuals to bring data to life, and an entire infographics library to explore (see a snapshot of the library below to get an idea of their topic range).

Knoema Infographics Library Screenshot

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  • General Social Survey – Visit GSS to search, analyze, and extract data from surveys that measure public opinion on a variety of topics, most related to government institutions and legislative priorities.

Political Research

  • RealClearPolitics – Curates news, information, and data sources from every place on the political spectrum.
  • Federal Election Commission – Current, objective data and research on political campaign finances, including both fundraising and spending.
  • Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections – History buffs will love this one. It’s a fun-to-navigate repository of election data dating back to George Washington’s win over John Adams in 1789. Don’t be fooled by the late-90s website design. David Leip’s Atlas is a real-deal data source for political history researchers.

1789 Election Results Chart

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  • American National Election Studies – ANES publishes data from surveys they conduct on public opinion, voting, and political participation. You can browse their data center to easily download data by year or browse their conference papers for more storied data insights.

Healthcare Data

  • HealthData.gov – The U.S. government’s official health data repository, HealthData.gov provides a searchable central point to find data sets that can drive better health outcomes. Their insightful blog offers actionable ways data can be harnessed to improve public health.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation – The Kaiser Family Foundation takes a journalistic approach to analyzing health policy and providing data-driven health insights.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration Data Sets – The FDA provides public data sets related to public data about the nation’s food supply, biological products, and human and veterinary drugs. Data can be easily downloaded as Excel, PDF, or XML files.
  • MedlinePlus – The MedlinePlus Web Service provides a searchable database covering an extensive range of topics.
  • Global Health Data Exchange – At GDHx you’ll find a comprehensive catalog of global health-related data in the form of surveys, censuses, statistics and more. You can do a keyword search and narrow your results by country.
  • National Center for Health Statistics The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has a large repository of data collections that include population, provider, and historical surveys. On their website you can browse fast statistic sheets, data visualizations, reports, news and much more.
  • America’s Health Rankings – America’s Health Rankings take an interesting approach to health data analysis, ranking by state across the United States based on historical data in the areas of health, socioeconomics, and the environment.

Finance and Economics

  • Bloomberg – Bloomberg is a premiere source of financial market updates, data analysis, and news about the stock market, world economics, and other financial sectors.
  • National Bureau of Economic Research – NBER is a private, nonpartisan organization that investigates and analyzes important economic issues. You can find data insights in a variety of their resources, including papers and publications, recurring periodicals, and their public use data archive.
  • Pitchbook – Paid Pitchbook users have access to a huge business data repository of 3+ million companies and 1+ million deals (among other things), but public website visitors can also find plenty of smart data insights in their News & Analysis section and blog.
  • Forbes – You’ll find plenty of current statistics and data sources in Forbes regular news articles. Their Insights Reports, however, hold even more comprehensive and detailed data-driven insights.
  • Atlas of Economic Complexity – This data visualization tool that allows people to explore trade across countries and markets around the world. They also provide a number of ready-made visual datasets, including country profiles (see Japan’s below) and country growth projections.

Japan's Country Profile

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  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission – The SEC website provides a number of public datasets related to market trends and players, including registered active brokers, individual security and exchange metrics, investment firm series and class info, and many more.
  • Federal Reserve Economic Database – Users can visit the Federal Reserve Economic Database website to access and download statistical releases about important government financial information such as U.S. financial accounts, household finance reports, and interest rates.
  • UN Comtrade Database – Here you’ll find detailed and visual data on global trade that can be searched, extracted, and downloaded. Browse the UN Comtrade Labs for access to many of the innovative ways companies and organizations have used UN Comtrade data.

Entertainment & Sports Data

  • Internet Movie Database (IMDB) – An industry favorite place to search for data and ratings on movies, TV shows, and actors, you can also access and download full datasets from IMDb for free
  • Sports Reference – Browse data by league, player, or sport for up to data statistics and information and visit their blog for news and announcements about new datasets.
  • Professional Sports League Hall of Fame Sites – Visit hall of fame websites for pro sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and more for historical information and best performing players, teams, and coaches as well as other important events.
  • The Oscars Resource Library – If you love the entertainment industry you’ll love this resource. The Oscars Resource Library contains a full database of Academy Award winners, acceptance speeches, motion picture scripts, and other Academy archive documents.
  • The Numbers – Don’t be fooled by the old-school web design at The Numbers — they’ve got a serious data haul on movies and the entertainment industry as well as tools like their report builder and keyword analysis tool to help you find the unique insights you need to enhance your content.

Business and Entrepreneurship

  • Crunchbase – Crunchbase is a searchable database of company insights from startups to Fortune 1000 companies. Much of Crunchbase data requires a paid account, but you can do a basic company search that still provides a fairly detailed overview about net worth, past funding, and recent news. Their blog and research reports are full of free, detailed data insights.
  • AngelList – Angellist aimts to connect startups with venture capital funds and their blog contains data-driven articles, insights, and reports about the startup and angel investing industries.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s open data repository of datasets and reports related to SBA programs, activities, and funding recipients.
  • TechCrunch – Data insights available through news stories about business but focused mainly in the tech and startup sectors.
  • Open Corporates – One of the largest company databases in the world, Open Corporates provides a free, public searchable database of information about companies of all types from around the world.
  • Fortune – Fortune’s rankings lists provide insightful overviews of ranked companies that include a balance of hard numbers and narrative descriptions.

Environment and Weather

  • Environmental Protection Agency – The EPA’s open data collection provides catalogs, reports, and dashboards about environmental issues and trends in the U.S. and around the world.
  • World Weather Records – The WWR is an archived digital data set containing periodic global weather data from the past 100+ years.
  • International Energy Agency Atlas – An ongoing source for updated data and statistics about energy supply and demand around the world. The IEA website has an easy-to-navigate chart library and interactive data browser that are easy to use and provide visual representations of the datasets they cover.

Internal Content Data Sources

  • Google Analytics – Google analytics that shows you how users are visiting and interacting with your web content.

Google Analytics

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  • Customer Surveys – Distribute surveys to collect feedback and information from stakeholders including employees, customers, and partners. You can use this data to create reports and tell data-driven stories.
  • Website Engagement – Check your web content management system for its analytics tool, where you can see insights into your website engagement analytics and visitor behavior.
  • Email Engagement – Use an email marketing system like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to keep your email lists organized and automatically collect email engagement data.
  • Company Reports – If your company publishes quarterly or annual reports, odds are they’re including performance metrics and other data. You can use these stats in content about your company, from web copy to case studies and more.
  • Case Studies – Look to your company’s case studies with past clients for data insights on how your products and services have performed for others.
  • Customer Service Data – Look at customer service data such as customer satisfaction score (CSAT) for objective, quantifiable insight into your customer relationships that can add to sales content.

Use Data to Power Your Content Marketing

Incorporating data into your content is one of the best ways to engage your audience with compelling content. Our writers are experienced at the art of data storytelling and can provide you with ready-to-publish content every week for an entire year (or more!).

To learn more, check out our Content Builder Services or schedule a free consultation today!

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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