Google’s Specialized Search Engine Enhances Access to Datasets and Presents Significant Long-Term Potential
From scanning news headlines to checking weather and traffic updates, and shopping online, search engines offer us rapid access to simple data we rely on to make it through each day. But where do we turn when our information needs to transcend the mundane and we require paths to deeper, more complex data?
Google’s AI Research Scientist, Natasha Noy, recently announced the debut of a new Dataset Search tool designed to place bigger datasets from a wide range of sources at users’ fingertips. Although initially focused on academic circles, this tool has far-reaching implications for additional sectors and users.
Why Google Dataset Search?
Dataset Search represents Google’s latest move forward in a long-term campaign designed to align users’ information demands with easily accessible, indexed and discoverable datasets. Currently, countless unique databases and information repositories exist in academia, government, business and other sectors across the globe, but are difficult, if not impossible, for most users to reach.
Dataset Search offers a single-source interface, similar to the basic Google search engine netizens know and love, to scan across multiple sources of unique information in sectors including, but not limited to:
- Environmental data
- Social Sciences
- Data from news organizations
- Government data
Far-Reaching Future Potential
Although initial applicability for this exciting new search engine resides primarily in academic circles, it has the potential to assist small to medium-size businesses with enhancements to marketing campaigns, content development and SEO by offering:
- Potentially lucrative new data sources for market research purposes
- Access to publicly available business data to enhance trend analysis studies
- Social science data to help tailor advertisement campaigns and drive more effective SEO and marketing practices
- The ability to conduct original research and identify new content topics and focus areas which stand out from the competition
This new search tool may even help journalists in hot pursuit of historical data for a story, climate research scientists combing through decades of raw weather data and all data geeks in between. Ultimately, we all stand to benefit from Google’s Dataset Search.
An Exciting Beginning for the Future of Easily Accessible Datasets
Although the launch of Dataset Search presents exciting new data access possibilities for a wide range of audiences, the most significant benefit lies in its potential to help standardize datasets to make them more easily discoverable. Ultimately, data is only as reliable and accessible as a publisher is willing to make it. To aid in a long-term standardization effort, Google published markup requirements developers must use to ensure publishers’ datasets appear in Dataset Search. Google is in a unique position to set the industry standard and help build the next generation of fully accessible datasets to benefit users across the globe regardless of sector.
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