As a marketing writer and editor for the Venngage blog, my work often deals with statistics and facts. When we’re not conducting our own primary research, we look for interesting studies and statistics to visualize. That’s why it’s incredibly important that the information posted on our blog is accurate. Our company’s credibility as a data visualization tool relies on our accuracy and accountability.
Even if you don’t work for a data visualization company, every writer should have an arsenal of reliable information resources. Finding solid information isn’t hard if you know where to look, and if you can find or create charts to illustrate your points, even better! It’s always good practice to back up and contextualize your points with relevant, reliable statistics and textual references. Think back to school, when you would take care to ensure that your bibliography was filled with academically acceptable sources. Your research articles should be given the same care for accuracy.
Often companies and organizations will conduct studies and surveys in their own niche market, so those can be good sources for relevant data. For example, I just helped conduct a study about text communication and wanted to contextualize our findings using some statistics about online data. Match.com and Mic have done some studies about the percentage of people who use online dating, the success rate of online dating, etc, so I included those in my article to see how our stats stacked against theirs.
Keep in mind, though, that there is always room for some bias when research is done in a marketing context, so it’s good to cross-check one company’s results with a couple of other sites in the same industry. Use your common sense to decide if a stat seems skewed or outdated!
This article offers 10 reliable information resources for general information, statistical or cultural. Many of these sites are run by federal and nonprofit organizations, so you can count on them to show less bias than some corporate studies. Use these as a springboard for more specific research.
10 Online Resources for Reliable Information
I use Pew Research Center often. Their easy to navigate site covers trending topics in politics, tech, and media, making it easy beef up your articles with timely statistics. Access to the reports is completely free. The site is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, so it’s one of the most reliable polling organizations in America.
Statista is your one-stop shop for statistics from market and opinion research institutions, offering studies from over 18,000 sources. Registration is free for a Basic account, which gives you access to sources covering a wide range of industries. You do need a company email to register, though, and your access to statistics will be limited unless you upgrade to a paid account.
Data.gov is the American government’s open data site, with topics ranging from health data to economic data. You will have to do a bit of digging to find your data sets, but it’s worth it. The site allows your to download the data sets using multiple file types, and the data is detailed and up to date.
Curata is a content marketing software company, but their Resources page offers detailed and highly visual ebooks, surveys and studies on marketing, with a focus on content marketing. Downloading these resources is free—you just have to fill out a form with your company email and job title.
WE Forum offers a fantastic selection of reports which are free to download or view in your browser. Their reports are more nuanced than those of other organizations, drawing connections and conclusions from their data, which is embedded within the reports. Pulling statistics may take a bit longer because of this, but reading their reports will offer you great insight into the topics they cover.
The Data page on WorldBank.org is a great resource for global development statistics. You can drill down reports by country, sector, and products or services. From studies on gender gaps to global consumption, reports are free and accompanied with helpful charts and graphs.
7. UN Data
UN Data covers topics such as employment, poverty, and population on an international scale. They have 34 databases in total that you can filter through by country, and all of their reports are free to access.
Google has a search engine specifically for funnelling publicly available data. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking for broad sets of data and multiple resources.
Elephind is a free newspaper database with over 55 million articles spanning the last century. You can drill down by country and year range. If you’re looking to make a then and now comparison, or if you want to see how a topic has progressed over time, providing specific historical articles will give you an edge.
For non-statistic-based information, Encyclopedia Britannica is a great resource for historical and cultural information. While researchers should take online encyclopedias with a grain of salt, Encyclopedia Britannica Online has a good reputation for being generally accurate. While most of the articles are relatively short, it’s a good source for overarching and summarizing information.
I hope these resources will help you conduct better, smarter research for your articles.
What are some reliable resources that you use for your blog? Share them with us below.