Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: Top 5 Data Resources for Bloggers
Everybody has an opinion. It's nothing special. It proves nothing, not unless you've got the numbers to back up your propositions. Numerical data is absolutely essential to creating a successful blog. People don't just want an actionable agenda, they want cold hard facts, supporting details, and colorful charts and graphs to back up whatever crazy ideas they've come up with. And this being the information age, there's usually a few surveys out there that can allow them to do just that.
Not only are data resources necessary to back up existing opinions, but they're great for generating content ideas for you to slap onto the blog section of your WordPress. As they say, when you are blogging it's easy to find templates, pictures or opinions. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a pain to find reputable resources for reliable data.
No worries though, we've got you covered. Here is a list of the top 5 data resources that every blogger needs bookmarked.
1. Data Market
Data Market is a comprehensive resource of unbiased information on a variety of topics. You can search through their index alphabetically, by country, or industry. Perhaps the most impressive attributes of the website areits powerful visualization tools which allow you to organize the data of your choice into easily digestible charts and graphs. This is especially useful for comparisons between multiple data sets.
Data Market is free to subscribe to and use. You can, however, opt for a premium subscription and receive in depth market research, financial data, and predictions from expert analysts.
Ever feel like settling a bet with your Brazilian friend about whose country has a higher crime rate? Yeah, me neither. But if we had, Nationmaster.com would be the place to go for a side by side comparison. This website offers in-depth comparisons between nations over 30 different metrics, including: internet, government, economy, education, health, military, population, and much more. This sort of side by side comparison can be extremely useful if you're blogging about a specific location.
Leave it to Google to be the only data provider that appears twice on this list. How do they get so good? Oh yeah, billions of dollars, thousands of geniuses on the payroll, and a positive corporate environment. I really should have gotten a degree in IT...
It seems I've digressed a bit, where were we? Oh, right! The Google public directory allows you access to public sector collected statistics from around the world, all compiled in visual formats that are easy on the eye, and infinitely comprehendible. It's a fun tool to play around with, and very informative.
The Guardian keeps a daily updated, massive, and completely comprehensive list of every dataset every used or published on their site. Meant for stately and dignified journalism, but aren't journalists just bloggers without opinions? I certainly think so. If you're looking for most any kind of data, it's probably been covered in exhaustive detail at some point in the recent past.
Take a look around their archives and see if you can't find something that sparks your interests.
As terrifying as this title sounds, it's actually pretty cool. While the word itself brings up either visions of countercultural documentaries or Nazi geneticists striving for the Aryan ideal, what "zeitgeist" really boils down to is a fancy German way of saying "sprit of the age." And when talking about search metrics that's a pretty positive thing.
Google Zeitgeist allows you to look through graphs of annual aggregated search queries going all the way back to the distant year of 2001, a savage and desperate time when nobody had smart phones and Regis Philbin was still asking million dollar questions on TV.
If you're looking for topical or relevant material to develop blog content, look no further. This is a data resource that's packed with inspiration. Just watch the 2013 video and try not to choke up. It's a powerful measure of what people are interested in and should be your first stop if you're looking for some nostalgic stimuli to affect your writing.
In addition to its yearly offering, Zeitgeist can show you what queries were searched most by nation and by niche. And if you want to go deeper, towards a certain topic, the page links to Google trends which allows you to look up search query popularity fluctuations over time.
Now you're armed with the sword of knowledge, go out and conquer the blogosphere with irrefutable facts!
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