The Quandl Excel add-in

In the past I have already mentioned the data initiative called Quandl. Through the website it is possible to find and download numercial datasets that people or organizations provide. Many of these datasets are provided free of charge. The data can be downloaded in the following formats: Excel, CSV, text, JSON or XML.

The way the data is handled (by Quandl) makes it easy to download it: when data from different sources is provided in different frequencies or for different time frames, it can still be downloaded in the same sheet at the same time! The frequencies and time frames for selected time series are automatically matched when downloading the data. The data is on all kinds of subjects: from large time series on a macroeconomic level to company data on a microeconomic level and both financial and non-financial data.

The creaters of Quandl also offer an Excel add-in which allows you to directly download the data into Excel. The current version is 2.5. This add-in can only be used when you have an Authetication Token which is provided upon free registration on the Quandl website. The installation of the add-in is simple: just like any Add-in through the Excel Options. Once it is installed (and the Authentication Token is added at the Preferences in the Quandl add-in) you can directly search and download data. Quandl offers an extensive help section with short and clear movies that explain how the Add-in works.

Over 500 sources are already available, offering millions of datasets. Some of these sources are:

People who have registered can also upload their own datasets making it a great tool to share data. One of the people who has done this is the renowned Thomas Piketty (Author of Capital in the 21 century): Link to datasets.