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Open Data Sets and Visualization Resources: Home

Locate and use open source numeric, statistical, geospatial, and qualitative data sets by topic. Explore data visualization methods, techniques, and resources to help discover patterns in the data that may not be clear from statistics alone.


This guide provides  resources for open data, an overview of popular data visualization tools, and tools to help you create your own data visualizations.

Data is an extremely important facet of the research process, but can often prove confusing. It can be messy, convoluted, and hard to conceptualize. The data you have may not actually answer the questions you're asking. Or alternatively, you may have come up with some promising answers to those questions, but be unclear how to communicate a connection between these claims and the data itself for your readers.

Data visualization is the term for information collected and expressed in the form of an image, chart, graph, plot, cloud, tree or other graphical means. Presenting data in a visual way can make your research more engaging as it is an extremely helpful resource in investigating, analyzing, and communicating research data. When used effectively, data visualization can help a reader grasp a trend or correlation intuitively and near-instantaneously, no matter how complex the underlying data may be. 

Library Resources

Find these resources through the library's databases. You must be logged in with your Connecticut College credentials to access these sources.


Data Planet

Choose from an extensive repository of statistical data sources containing more than 90 billion data points from more than 70 source organizations.


Open Data Sets

The open web provides many options for finding data resources.  Try using:

Google Advanced Search
Tips for Advanced Google searching include:

  • Include search terms like data or table 
  • Google ignores the word AND as a search operator. But, typing OR in all caps will find similar or related terms (e.g. women OR females OR girls).
  • Search for a particular document type (e.g. food insecurity filetype:xls)
  • Search for data on a particular site or domain (e.g. food insecurity
  • Exclude words by using the "-" sign in front of the word you wish to exclude

Google Dataset Search - A search engine aggregator of data resources that are freely available to use.

Google Public Data Explorer - A powerful tool to explore, find and visualize U.S. and international data in one place. Visualizations can be selected to create line, bar, scatter, map, and other visualization formats. 

Getting Help

  • Call the Reference Desk during scheduled hours at (860) 439-2655
  • Email: Brief, factual questions can be emailed to
  • In Person: Reference staff are available to help you find information and use library collections 
  • Research Consultation: Use this form to schedule an appointment with a librarian
  • Text the Reference Desk during scheduled hours at (860) 787-5001