Best Data Sources for Community Data

As we move into an increasingly connected world, it becomes more and more important for organizations to understand the communities they serve. It helps inform decisions on how to best serve the needs of local communities by providing insights into everything from population trends to housing availability. With so much information available, it can be hard to know where to start looking for reliable community data sources. Thankfully, there are a number of great options out there that offer high-quality datasets at no cost or low cost.  Here are some of the top online data sources for accessing community data.


1. U.S. Census Bureau

The census is a critical source of information for planners, businesses, and policymakers at all levels of government. It provides data that helps to understand and address community needs, determine funding allocations, plan for infrastructure and services, and make decisions about where to locate new businesses. The census also serves as a valuable data resource, providing detailed information about the demographics of the population. As the nation’s leading provider of quality data, the census plays a vital role in informing decision-making at all levels of government.


In addition to administering the decennial census once-a-decade, the U.S. Census Bureau also administers several surveys, like the American Community Survey, on a more frequent basis, collecting valuable data on demographics, the economy, small businesses and more. In recent years, the census has made their data more accessible and easy-to use, providing clean tables and figures as well as visualizations and tools for exploration, like the My Community Explorer tool


2. National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is a government agency that collects data about education in the United States. NCES has a wide range of data on everything from student demographics to school spending. All of their data is publicly available, making it a valuable resource for understanding the education landscape in the US. NCES data is used by educators, policy-makers, and researchers to inform decision-making and improve educational outcomes. The data can be used to identify trends, measure progress, and assess needs. With such a wealth of information available, the NCES is an essential resource for anyone interested in understanding education in the United States.


3. City-Data

When looking for data on cities and metropolitan areas in the United States, many people turn to City-Data. This website compiles data from a variety of sources to provide information on demographics, crime, education, employment, housing, and more. While the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming, it can be very helpful for those who want to get a better understanding of a particular city or area. For instance, someone who is considering moving to a new city can use City-Data to research the local job market and housing prices. Similarly, organizations can use the site to find out more about the demographics of a potential new location. 


In short, City-Data is an invaluable resource for anyone looking for detailed information on US cities and metropolitan areas. The data is easy to access and can be sorted by a variety of criteria. In addition, users can create customized reports based on their unique needs. Whether you’re looking for general information about a city or want to compare multiple areas, City-Data is an essential tool.


4. DataUSA

DataUSA  is an open-source platform that allows users to visualize data about the United States. Their goal is to make it easy for people to find, understand, and use government data and they strive to empower individuals and organizations to make informed decisions. With DataUSA, users can easily find and visualize data sets on a wide range of topics, including demographics, economy, education, health, housing, and more. This is an invaluable resource for researchers, policy makers, and interested citizens alike. 


5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a national public health institute in the United States under the Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC’s main goal is to protect public health and promote human well-being by providing leadership and direction for disease control and prevention. The CDC accomplishes this through the surveillance of health threats, the conduct of research, the promotion of healthy behaviors, the development of health policy, and the provision of services to prevent and control disease. The CDC also strives to be a global leader in public health, working with partners from around the world to improve global health. 


The CDC website is a great resource for finding information on health trends and understanding the health of a community. You can find data on specific diseases, outbreaks, risk factors, and more. You can also learn about the CDC’s work in epidemiology, laboratory science, immunizations, and more. If you’re looking for information on how to protect yourself and your family from disease, or if you want to understand the health of your community, the CDC website is a great place to start.


While these are the top 5 resources for community-level data, keep in mind that there are many other valuable resources available. For help with finding data that is specific to your industry, email us.


These are just a few of the many great online data sources for community data. There are many other great sources out there, so don’t limit yourself to these. Once you’ve gathered your data, put it to work! Use it to improve your understanding of the community you serve. By understanding who makes up your community, what their needs are, and how they interact with one another, you can create a better product or service that makes an impact on their lives. 


Good Insights has expert data knowledge and experience helping organizations gather and analyze community data. If understanding your community is critical to providing the best possible service, we would love to help you get there. We offer a range of solutions, from training and education to done-for-you data services. Contact us, here!