Answered By: Suzanne Schriefer, Education & General Education Librarian
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2019     Views: 23

Federal and state executive agencies collect data on a wide array of topics.  Through the 2013 Federal Open Data Policy, this data is available to the public.  Datasets can be found at Data.Gov.

The database contains over 246,000 datasets grouped into 14 topical categories:

After selecting the broad topical category, click on the data tab to view a list of datasets available for that topic:

Each collection of datasets can be searched by keyword to efficiently locate relevant data using the search text box at the top of the page.  Datasets include a label that indicates whether the data provided is national (Federal), state, or local in scope. The list of datasets can be scanned by scrolling through the list.

The tools in the left pane provide another way to filter datasets.  You can narrow the list by subtopic, dataset type, descriptive tags, format (CSV, XML, HTML, etc.), publisher, bureau, etc.

Once a dataset has been selected, view a description, use information, formats available for download, author and date of publication, and metadata on the dataset homepage:


Please consult this list of formats supported by Excel if using this application to manipulate the data.  

For more information about using Excel, please consult the Excel Help Guide.

For more information about how to conduct quantitative analysis using datasets, see:


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