If you’re doing Excel training, or writing blog posts, or creating sample files, you might need to find some public sample data to use in Excel files. Here are a few sources to check.
Google Public Data Explorer
Sometimes you need sample data, because you don’t want to publish confidential client data, even if it’s a bit disguised, or reveal your household finances to the world.
Instead of creating sample data on your own, you can find datasets online.
Once source is Google Public Data Explorer (part of Google Labs), where you can access several large datasets, and use those in your Excel example files
When you follow the links to the dataset pages, you’ll find interactive charts and maps, and links to the source data websites.
Source Data Pages
Of course, each source data website is set up differently, but on some of the source data websites, you’ll find more charts and interactive tables, and files that you can download.
Sample Excel Data for Download
For example, you can download Excel files with economic, environmental and social statistics from the OECD Factbook 2010, published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
To see how it worked, I downloaded an Employment rates file with several years of data, for three age groupings. That would give you enough data to use for your own sample charts or training exercises.
Other Data Sources
Are there other good sources of public data that you use? Please share them in the comments. Thanks!
Update: Check the comments below — there are other excellent resources listed, where you can find sample data to use in Excel.