Frequently Asked Questions for Students and Researchers

Questions about the Data Planet redesign and/or the SAGE Stats/United States Political Stats integration into Data Planet? Please click the following link:

What is Data Planet?

Data Planet is the largest single repository of harmonized and structured statistical data available to libraries. Learn how Data Planet simplifies data analysis for everyone and allows researchers to access statistics relevant to their areas of study and interest.

What kind of data does Data Planet contain?

Data Planet is a massive repository of publicly, privately, and commercially sourced statistical data. All of the data in the system are time-series data. View a complete listing of our data available including datasets, sources, and metrics.

How often are the datasets in Data Planet updated?

All of the datasets in Data Planet are updated as new data are provided from the source organization. This could be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, annually, or on a multiple year or variable periodic basis. To check the update frequency and last time a dataset was updated for a particular dataset, scroll to the metadata section on the datasets page.

How soon after the official dataset is updated by the source organization is it included in Data Planet? Datasets are typically updated promptly in Data Planet following a new release by the source organization, sometimes minutes after the official dataset is updated. Generally, the data are available in our system within a day of the official release of any data. There are some cases, however, where the data in an update may have a new format or contain new information that may cause a short delay in processing.

How are datasets selected for inclusion in Data Planet?

The statistical datasets included in the Data Planet repository are added based on an evaluation and prioritization process that takes into account the following factors:

  1. Customer expressed request for a particular dataset to be added to the repository

  2. Authority of the source organization that collects, analyzes, and releases the dataset

  3. Statistical credibility of the dataset: considered here is how well documented the dataset is with respect to sampling, data collection methodology, and data analysis procedures

  4. Fit of the dataset within the repository’s scope of coverage, defined at a high level by 16 subject areas

  5. Reliability of the source organization data release process, especially timeliness and regularity of updates

To identify new datasets for addition to the repository, the data development and editorial teams periodically assess gaps of coverage by subject area. In addition, government, nongovernmental, international, and other organizational websites and news releases are followed on an ongoing basis to identify new datasets for evaluation and potential addition to the repository. Suggestions on datasets to add to the Data Planet repository are welcome. Please contact us at

How are the datasets made searchable?

We have a controlled vocabulary and a data-driven listing of geographic and company names. Our metadata scheme has more than 37 fields. At the highest level, we show dataset title, source, and dates of coverage. We apply subject terms to the metadata that are related to the 16 major subject categories, or classifications. All of our data are standardized against national or international codes and standards — for example, geographic names are actually represented as codes in our system, which enables users to retrieve all relevant time series for a specific geographic entity regardless of how the source represents the name of the entity . This standardization also allows someone to search disparate datasets at the same time to profile places, industries, or topics. It also provides us with the ability to output formatted, credible, and citable data.

Is this a statistics tool or a content aggregation? Data Planet is an aggregation of statistical content and associated metadata. We believe it is the largest aggregation of standardized, structured, harmonized, and searchable time-series data available in a single system. There are lots of aggregations, but not many that provide the search capabilities, metadata and descriptive information, or currency of Data Planet. In addition, the Data Planet repository can house data and manage access rights specific to your organization, department, or institution. In this way, it is also a technology platform.

Can I view multiple datasets at one time?

Yes, Data Planet is engineered so users can compare and contrast different data, from different sources, in one browser window. Within the datasets page, just click the “Compare Data” button at the top of the left-hand navigation to compare up to 10 datasets within the data viewer.

What kind of charts can I create with Data Planet?

Users can create multiple types and styles of line charts, area charts, bar graphs, trend rankings, and maps using Data Planet.

What computation capabilities does Data Planet have?

Data Planet has a Calculator Tool that enables you to use simple mathematical equations to calculate rates, ratios, percent distribution, and other statistical measures. Statistical analysis is available for all three types of charts (map, trend, and ranking) Available functions include: Difference from previous, % difference from previous, Prior Year, Difference from Prior Year, Fit a Straight Line Using Least Squares, Sum, Number of Rows with Data, Average, Standard Deviation, Average +/- Standard Deviations (1 – 3).

Can the data be exported or used in my work product and research?

Yes! The whole purpose of Data Planet is to provide users with better, easier access to the data they need in their daily work. Data can be exported in many file formats. The descriptions of the data can also be exported or output in several formats. Data Export formats include: Excel, Excel Linked to Data, PDF, Delimited Text, SAS, XML, Shapefile, RefWorks, and via DOI links that provide permanent access to the view at the time it was created.

The data can be used for research purposes. News organizations can create dynamic charts, tables, maps and graphs from Data Planet for use in their own publications, provided they are cited properly and in accordance to our license terms and conditions. Researchers in business, government, and academia can include output from Data Planet in their work so long as they do not create derivative products for sale, publication, and wide distribution without our expressed written permission and in accordance with our license agreement.

Can I share data I find in Data Planet with people that may not have access to the product?

Data Planet datasets provide the ability to export data specifically for saving and sharing.

Data Planet also provides the ability to create DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) of DataSheets, comprising the chart you’ve created and the associated metadata, which resolve to the original view of the DataSheet. Sharing the DOI link for a view returns the original view of the DataSheet, with the option of linking to an updated view that contains the most current data available for the time series. Only subscribers will be able to access the updated view.

What are the system requirements to use Data Planet?

Data Planet Statistical Datasets is a web-based application that runs in most popular web browsers on both Apple and PC-based operating systems. For the best user experience, we recommend accessing Data Planet via desktop or laptop computer.

How do I get access to Data Planet?

Call us, email us, fill out our request form, send us a letter! One of our sales representatives will be delighted to talk with you to set up a demo and trial of Data Planet. Please click this link to request a trial.

How much does it cost to subscribe?

The product cost varies according to type of institution and size of user population. Contact us for more information via this website: or via email at

Does Data Planet offer alumni access?

University alumni may have access to the content hosted on SAGE and CQ Press platforms through their university library, based on their university’s current and active holdings. All alumni registered with subscribing or purchasing libraries will be able to access these resources, including more than 1,000 scholarly and professional journals at no extra fee.

University libraries already support current students and scholars with access to online resources through both on-site and remote services. This license extends this offering to alumni via IP address through the institution’s account. SAGE does not have the information or systems necessary to authenticate an individual as being an alumnus of a particular institution. Because of this, institutions will need to manage the authentication process and provide alumni with a route through the institutional IP network. Please contact your designated sales representative with any questions.