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Free Sample Data Sources to Learn and Practice Power BI - Part 2

Your enthusiastic feedback to my previous post "Free Sample Data Sources to Learn and Practice Power BI - Part 1" made it clear that the shared resources have been pivotal for many in refining their Power BI skills. Riding on that wave of success, I'm decided to write the Part 2 of Free Sample Data Sources for Power BI users where I've unearthed a fresh collection of data sources to enrich your analytical repertoire. I introduce many new free datasets in this blog, from intricate global economic patterns to detailed health statistics, perfect for practicing data storytelling and trend analysis in Power BI. So, gear up for another round of discovery as I drive you through these new avenues for data exploration.

Nasdaq Data Link: Your Gateway to Financial Insight

Quandl, recognized today as Nasdaq Data Link, is a greate source for those seeking comprehensive financial and economic datasets to sharpen their Power BI skills. The platform's unique technology simplifies data handling, while its compatibility with popular tools ensures a smooth integration into your Power BI projects. With an API gateway to over 250 credible datasets (I testes 35 free datasets and and they all worked), Nasdaq Data Link is an ideal practice ground for those looking to elevate their data analysis with real-world data.

To begin utilizing the vast array of free datasets from Nasdaq Data Link, start by creating an account and navigating to the data products page:

Filter the selection to 'free' and choose a dataset to explore. On the dataset's page, there are multiple ways to access the data - through an API in formats like JSON, CSV, or XML, or directly via Python, R, or Excel. API access grants you up to 10,000 rows of data for immediate use. If you require more extensive data, scroll to 'Data Export (Bulk Download)' at the bottom of the page to download a CSV file with more data (For oil price dataset, the bulk file has 1,048,576 rows of data).

Some of the datasets I find most beneficial include:

Bitfinex Crypto Coins Exchange Rate

JODI Oil World Database

IMF Cross Country Macroeconomic Statistics

Northwind Database via OData: Ideal for Hands-On Power BI Learning

For those looking to practice with a classic yet rich dataset, the Northwind database is a perfect choice, and it's conveniently accessible for free through an OData connection. By navigating to Northwind OData Service, you can easily connect and start exploring this well-structured dataset, which encompasses various business entities like orders, products, customers, and employees. It's an excellent resource for anyone looking to sharpen their data manipulation and visualization skills in Power BI, offering a diverse range of real-world business scenarios. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced user, Northwind provides a comprehensive playground for enhancing your data analysis expertise.

To connect your Power BI to Northwind Database using Odata:

  1. Open Power BI Desktop and select the 'Home' tab.

  2. Click on 'Get Data' and choose 'OData feed' from the options.

  3. In the OData feed URL box, enter: and click 'OK'.

  4. Power BI will then connect to the Northwind dataset. From the Navigator pane, you can select the tables you're interested in.

  5. After selecting the tables, click 'Load'. Power BI will import the data, allowing you to start your analysis and visualization with this classic business dataset.

SAP Gateway ES5: Exploring Enterprise Data with Power BI

For those delving into enterprise data, the SAP Gateway Demo System offers a practical dataset for exploration. Accessible for free via the OData connection, the ES5 system provides a rich array of data at SAP Gateway OData Service. Registration is required, but once set up, you'll gain valuable experience working with a variety of business-oriented data structures typical of SAP environments. This resource is especially beneficial for Power BI users looking to expand their skills in handling complex, real-world enterprise data scenarios.

To access the SAP Gateway Demo System (ES5), you need to create an account and obtain credentials. Here's how you can do it:

  • Visit the SAP Gateway Demo System registration page. You can typically find this by searching for "SAP ES5 Gateway Demo System" or visiting the SAP Developers portal.

  • Sign Up:

  • If you don’t already have an SAP account, you will need to sign up. This process usually involves providing some basic information like your name, email, and company details.

  • After registration, you'll receive an email to activate your account. Follow the instructions in the email to complete the activation process.

  • Once your account is activated, log in to the SAP Gateway Demo System using your credentials.

  • After logging in, you should be able to access various OData services provided by the SAP ES5 system like: SAP typically provides detailed documentation on how to use these services.

  • With your username and password, you can connect to the SAP OData services from Power BI by selecting the OData feed option in the 'Get Data' section and entering the service URL and User name and Password.

Our World in Data: Great source for Global Trends data

In my search for comprehensive and enlightening datasets, I've come across Our World in Data, a platform that brilliantly demystifies complex global issues like poverty, climate change, and health. This site stands out for its user-friendly interactive data visualizations and succinct scientific summaries, making it a fantastic resource for anyone looking to understand and visualize global trends in Power BI. It's an ideal place for those seeking real-world data that speaks to the broader human experience and societal progress.

On the website, you have the option to explore different topics. Choose a topic that interests you, and you can download its dataset in CSV format:

The following datasets are some of my favorites:

Mockaroo: Custom Data Generation for Realistic Testing

In my quest to find useful data sources for Power BI practice, I discovered Mockaroo, a standout solution for generating custom test data. Initially developed to support software testing by simulating real-world data patterns, Mockaroo has grown into a comprehensive service for creating mock data in formats like JSON, CSV, SQL, and Excel. It’s the creation of Mark, a web app developer since 2002, who crafted Mockaroo using Ruby. This platform is particularly useful for those in need of tailored datasets to test and refine their Power BI skills, offering an easy and efficient way to mimic realistic data environments. Watch these video to find that how to use this useful website:

UNdata: A Global Statistical Goldmine for Power BI Insights

I've found UNdata to be an exceptional resource. Launched as part of the "Statistics as a Public Good" initiative, this platform offers an extensive array of global statistics. Managed by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, it's a treasure chest of over 60 million data points covering a vast range of topics from agriculture, Population, Crime and Price and production to education. For those seeking data that informs on a global scale, especially for impactful Power BI visualizations, UNdata is a go-to source.

You have the option to download data for each continent or country, as well as global data, in either CSV or JSON file formats. Additionally, it provides an API feature that allows you to directly pull data into your file.

One of my favorite datasets on this platform is Tourism Industries:

You can also find sample data on the following websites related to UNdata websites:

Academic Torrents: Revolutionizing Data Sharing in Research

In my journey to find accessible data sources for practice, Academic Torrents caught my eye as a unique solution for handling large datasets in academia. This platform, launched by the Institute for Reproducible Research, leverages BitTorrent technology for efficient and decentralized data storage and sharing. It's particularly useful for researchers and students who need to access or replicate hefty datasets without incurring high costs. Academic Torrents stands out by distributing the hosting load, significantly reducing the risk of data loss and operational expenses. It's a prime example of innovative data management, ensuring the availability of extensive research data for a wide range of academic and analytical pursuits, including enhancing Power BI skills.

There are over 127.15TB of research data available on this platform, and you can search them to find the data you need.

Please check this link first:

(In my thorough exploration of Academic Torrents, I've found it to be a safe platform for downloading datasets, especially for academic and research purposes. However, as it relies on peer-to-peer (P2P) technology like BitTorrent, it's wise to take certain precautions. Ensure the legitimacy and integrity of the files, adhere to legal and usage terms, maintain robust internet security (possibly using a VPN), and have your antivirus software updated for optimal safety. While the academic community widely trusts Academic Torrents, these measures add an extra layer of security and reliability to your experience.)

FiveThirtyEight: A Data Analysis Playground

I've been impressed by FiveThirtyEight. This site is a goldmine for data enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of poll analysis, sports, economics, and more, all through the lens of advanced statistical techniques. FiveThirtyEight stands out for turning complex data into compelling narratives, making it an excellent example of data journalism. What's more, they openly share their datasets, mostly in CSV format, which are perfect for practicing data visualization and analysis in Power BI. Whether you’re interested in politics, sports, or economic trends, FiveThirtyEight’s datasets offer a wealth of real-world data for honing your analytical skills.

IBM Watson Analytics: Legacy in Data Learning[0]=Datasets

While IBM Watson Analytics was discontinued in 2019, its impact on data analysis and business intelligence learning remains significant. This tool stood out for its advanced analytics, natural language processing, and user-friendly interface, making data analysis accessible to a broader audience. What's particularly useful for Power BI enthusiasts are the sample datasets that IBM provided. These datasets covered diverse business scenarios, ideal for practicing and enhancing data visualization skills. Even though the service itself is no longer available, the methodologies and datasets left behind continue to be a valuable resource for anyone diving into the world of data analytics, offering insights into the practical application of analytics and AI in business.

Awesome Public Datasets

The "Awesome Public Datasets" repository on GitHub offers collection of high-quality, topic-centric public data sources gathered from blogs, answers, and user contributions. While most datasets are free, some are paid.

As I continue my quest to uncover more exceptional free datasets and data sources to enrich this blog post, your input would be invaluable. If you know of any fantastic resources that haven't been featured here or on Part 1 blog post, please share them in the comments section. Your contributions not only assist me in creating a more comprehensive guide but also help our entire community of data enthusiasts. Let's collaborate to uncover the best data treasures out there!

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