UNdata

OVERVIEW

UNdata is a collection of over 30 international statistical databases and provides a single-entry point for them. UNdata was created as part of a project developed by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), based on the idea of “Statistics as a Public Good”. UNdata aims to provide the public, free access to global statistics and covers broad topics including but not limited to agriculture, development, education, energy, environment, finance, health, population and migration.*

*This description is a paraphrased version of the description on the UNdata website.

Available data file formats

CSV, Excel, and TXT.

Accessibility

This is an open data source that is for public use.

UNdata

HOW TO RETRIEVE DATA BY EXAMPLE

Scenario

Suppose you are trying to compare the wind energy production for eight countries, Argentina, Australia, Egypt, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States in 2005 and 2015. These countries are selected from different regions around the globe and you want to know how large are the changes in wind energy production for each country after one decade. You would like to obtain the data in a CSV file (which can be read into Excel).

Step-by-step

  • Go to UNdata and under the search bar, it says that UNdata contains 32 databases with 60 million records (data points). Above the search bar, click on the first button Datamarts. This is the single-point entry of the databases UNdata lists on its website.

Screenshot of the UNData main page. There is a search bar in the center. Above it, there is a Datamarts button on the furthest left.

  • Now there is the UNdata Explorer. You can explore these databases by Datasets, Sources and Topics

Screenshot of the UNData Explorer page. There is a search bar on the top. Below it, there is the UNData Explorer, which is categorized into three sections, Datasets, Sources, Topics, from left to right. Datasets appears by default.

  • Since you are looking for data related to energy, you can explore under Topics. Click on the Topics button, then the topics show up . If you click on the third button, energy, there is one database, the Energy Statistics Database. Click on it and it would give you all the data available. On the right of this button, the original source is specified as the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). On the far right of it, there is a button. Click on the i-button, to obtain more detailed information about the source of the data. 

Screenshot similar to the image above except that now Topics is shown instead of Datasets. A list of topics is shown in this section, and Energy is the third one. Energy Statistics Database is the only dataset under topic Energy and many indicators are available in this database.

  • On the bottom of this list, there is Wind Electricity. Click on it and there appears Electricity - total wind production. Click on the button View data on its right, it will direct you to the dataset webpage which looks as follows.

Screenshot of the Wind Electricity page. On the left, there are two filters, Country or Area and Year. On the right, a default table displays all available data of wind electricity in the Energy Statistics Database.

  • On the left of the page, you can use Select filters to get your data. Below it, there are 2 filters you can choose, Country or Area and Year. You can select the eight countries from Country or Area (115) and choose 2005 and 2015 from Year (28). Then you click on Apply Filters below the filters. Now you have the electricity energy from wind production for your selected 8 countries in both 2005 and 2015.

Screenshot similar to the image above except that the countries and years of interest are selected and that the table only includes the selected data.

  • To download the data, click on Download above the table. You can select which format you would like to download from the drop-down menu but the one labeled as Comma is chosen because you want to download your data file in CSV format. After you select the Comma format, the data would be automatically downloaded in a .zip file. In this .zip file, you will find one CSV file, which is the data file you have been looking for.

Screenshot similar to the image above except that the drop-down menu of the download button located above the data table shows the download options.

Be sure to consult with the source website on how to properly cite your data. For this scenario, the citation in APA format would be something similar to:

Statistics Division. UNdata. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). http://data.un.org (Accessed on 18 November 2019)