Sorts of data and its sources

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Contributors

Bjorn Burscher, NN


"We are overwhelmed with data but starved of knowledge"

In today's world we are overwhelmed with data and information from various sources. The advancement in the field of IT makes collection of data easier than ever before. A business enterprise has various systems like transaction processing system, HR management system, Accounting system and so on and each of these systems are collecting huge piles of data everyday. Moreover, in every day life more and more data is collected on a global scale. Amounts of data are thus increasing steadily. This development is due to

  • an increase in (decentralized) data sources,
  • digital trace we leave,
  • increasing rates of data generation, and
  • increasing interconnectedness and data exchange

Generally, one can distinguish between internal and external data:

Internal data of a company can be all kind of data concerning transactions and communications with clients and customers (e.g. purchases, payments, bank/credit card transactions, website usage, emails, customer feedback) as well as data concerning past organizational behavior and performance (e.g. employee information, expenses/earnings, travel data, resource use, etc.).

External data include all data concerning processes outside the organization, which, however, might be highly relevant to the wellbeing and further development of the organization. Below are some examples of different (mostly open) data sources for different categories/sorts of data available on the Internet:

  • Internet Archive, Digital Encyclopedia and Public Libraries: Everything that is posted on a public website is stored for all times. The Internet does noet forget anything, because archiving platforms provide users which old versions of websites. Moreover, nowadays lots of books are digitalyze and accessible in digita l form. Finally, collaborative Encyclopedia provide the knowledge of the world to every Internet user. [e.g. Internet Archive/Wayback Machine (www.archive.org); Wikipedia; The Knowledge Centers (searchengineshowdown.com); whenago.com; World Digital Library; Books Ngram Viewer (grams.googlelabs.com)]
  • News: The news media report about the development of the economy, political parties and trends, as well as organizations. They contain factual inormation, but also opinions and evaluations. Among others, media coverage can be of use in predicting public opinion towards politics, the economy and individual organizations. Nowadays, all news media content is digitally accessible via platforms as Lexus Nexus or Factiva
  • Social Networks and Blogs: Social Networks as Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter are full iof information important to an organization. On such social media platforms, people communicate about political developments and technological trends. The Internet contains blogs on nearly every topic, that are full of information regarding products, socio-economic developments, and opinion concerning all kinds of organizations and products.
  • Information Retrieval Engines:
freebase.com; wolframalpha.com
  • Text Mining on the Web:
Google Trends; Google Flu Trends; theobservatorium.eu; wefeelfine.org; cyberemotions.eu
  • Social Data Sharing:
linkeddata.org; Dataverse Network Project; thedata.org; data360.org
  • Conflict Data:
CSCW Data on armed Conflicts; War Views; acleddata.com
  • Data in Economics and Finance:
bloomberg.com; Unctad Statistics; EUROSTAT; World Input Output Database
  • Scientific Collaboration Data:
e.g. ISI Web of Knowledge; Google Scholar; Scopus; World Value Survey; Gapminder Data
  • Urban Data:
Global Urban Observatory Database; Urban Observatory; Urban Audit
  • Traffic Data:
NGSIM; Tafficdata.info
  • Open Maps:
Google Maps; Open Street Maps
  • Health Data:
World Health Organization
  • Climate and Environmental Data:
e.g. PSD Climate and Weather Data; Footprint Network; Buienradar
  • Energy:
International Energy Agency

Contributors

Bjorn Burscher, NN