Places to Download Sample Data

Creating a Microsoft SQL Server demo soon & need some sample data?  Or, maybe you need a dataset to learn more about a new version like Denali?

When I’m looking for data, I want it fast  Here’s a few possibilities:

CodePlex – The tried & true AdventureWorks samples are all available from CodePlex, for various versions of SQL Server.  You can download the SQL Server relational OLTP database, and/or the relational data warehouse, and/or the Analysis Services cube.  There’s lots more to CodePlex than you might think, so be sure to browse around.

UK Data Store – This is a gold mine for interesting data. No kidding. The Data Store is affiliated with The Guardian, and offers supporting data associated with news articles it publishes.  (I used a dataset from here about the top 100 books ever sold in order to create my first PowerPivot model.)

Azure MarketPlace – The Windows Azure Marketplace has some freely available data which may be downloaded.  There’s also an Excel Add-In to help obtain Azure data.  One nice addition I noticed is a date table intended for use by PowerPivot models.

US Government - The U.S. Government publishes lots of data here as part of its Open Government Initiative.  Some of the data available is pretty darn interesting, including geospatial. 

TechNet SQL Server Samples – This has some overlap with CodePlex, but offers some helpful links.

Analytics for Twitter – This is actually a sample PowerPivot application, but it gives Twitter data on the details worksheet.

Metropolitan Transit Authority – The MTA in New York publishes information about schedules, fares, traffic, etc.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - A French organization which publishes a broad range of social and economic data within & outside of its region.

Stack Overflow Data Dump - Includes Stack Overflow questions, answers, and comments which are available under a Creative Commons license.

Project REAL – This one is getting aged, as it was created for SQL Server 2005 (and I’m not aware of a newer version).  This was a real Barnes and Noble project that turned into a sample dataset available for learning the BI toolset.

I’m sure there’s tons more.  CodePlex and the UK Data Store are the two I rely upon most often.  Happy data hunting.