The Namara Marketplace: Better Access to Better Data

Update: as of July 2022, ThinkData Works has taken the Namara Marketplace down. If you’re looking for external data, find more information on our Enrichment page or contact us.


Turning data into insight is easy, right? Get the data from the source, the data scientists wave their magic wand, and presto! Usable products driving useful applications.

Sound unrealistic?

It is.

Organizations are racing to become data-driven, but it’s not as simple as ‘getting data' and hiring a few rockstar data scientists – there’s a lot more that goes into it, and there are a lot of problems organizations are faced with along the way.

The problems with external data

The first problem is that many businesses don't take advantage of all the data that's available to them. Using more sources of external data prevents the 'data tunnel vision' that's so common now, and failing to understand and analyze external factors exposes your organization to significant risk.

The data you have internally is important; but the organizations that will survive in the future will use that core internal data enriched with data streaming in from outside sources to provide a holistic view of the landscape. Without this ‘outside insight,’ businesses miss opportunities and larger market signals that aren’t present in internal data alone. 

The second problem is that it’s often quite hard to find the data that you want. Despite the general availability of data, it can be extremely difficult to actually track down what you're looking for.

And, even when you find the right dataset, it's almost never ready to be used for analysis or modelling. Like oil needs refining or a diamond needs shaping and polishing, raw data takes more time prepping and cleansing to be formatted the way you need. Then working it into your existing systems and schemas. Then plugging it into a model. Then testing it out. Then repeating any number of those steps until it works.

That's a lot of overhead.

A big part of the reason that big data projects fail 85% of the time is because organizations are prioritizing outcomes without fully understanding processes. It's putting the cart before the horse, and that methodology is grinding digital transformation projects to a halt.

There’s big-time value in leveraging data to fuel actionable, revenue-generating insights, and it starts with aligning your business and data strategies. Identifying the right frameworks and tools that allow you to access high-valuable data is a key component.

What is a data marketplace?

Over 90% of all data in the world has been generated over the past two years, and that's had a big impact on the way people interact with and use data. Due to the vast amount of data being produced, the idea of a ‘data marketplace’ – a storefront for data – has taken hold. The introduction of data marketplaces incentivized data sharing, which has helped expand the breadth and depth of the data available today. As a result, businesses have increased access to data, and vendors have a place to monetize data products.

The Namara Marketplace

With the increasing amount of data comes an increase in data variety. In 2014, the Namara Marketplace began as a single repository for the open data that was being released by every level of government.

Since then, we’ve gone beyond open data and expanded the Marketplace to cover three tiers: data providers, public data, and open data. We offer over 250,000 datasets from more than 3500 sources in over 75 countries.


Evolving the Marketplace has enabled our network to find better data in larger quantities. In order to get high-value data in front of a wider audience, we've made the Marketplace completely public. That means that anybody, without setting up an account, can browse our catalogue and explore the data and sources that we've spent the past 6 years connecting to.

The Namara Marketplace is more than a catalogue for diverse datasets – it’s also the connection point for normalized, deployment-ready data. By automating the prep and processing phase of data-driven solutions, we're providing everyone with a fast, efficient way to get more data into their environments with less overhead and more confidence.

Instant discovery, rapid delivery

The Namara Marketplace is a single point of access for all the data we have connected to since Namara first launched, and it grows daily as our team discovers new external data and collaborates with new partners. We also provide a direct line for Marketplace users to reach out to us to make data requests or let us know about data sources they'd find useful.

Data sources including NOAA, World Bank, CMHC, Government of Canada, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Data.govDeploying solutions from Namara lets teams build around data that’s normalized and accessible through a single control plane. Using the Namara platform, data science teams can connect to standard data assets from anywhere through one place, collaborate on projects, share and monitor data sources, and build ideal products effortlessly. Automating the prep and process lets teams spend less time wrestling with data, and more time analyzing it (or maybe even the chance to take a coffee break every once in a while).

The flow of data through Namara, from ingestion to integration

Datasets are more than what’s in the rows and columns; they also have crucial metadata that gives context to the information you’re analyzing. This is all accessible through Namara, to make sure you can be confident using any data in your solutions. Data provenance is high-priority for us, so showing exactly where it's coming from and what it's made of is part of our mandate.

Solutions need to grow with and adapt to the data you’re using – as data velocity increases, accounting for changes to the data over time becomes critical. The data on Namara goes through rigorous QA from end to end and across updates, and we offer transparency into the origin, validity, freshness, and quality of the data.

Use Better Data, Use Data Better

The data landscape is constantly changing. New sources of data are published every day, and the emergence of AI and ML tools guarantees a greater need for data operations across all sectors. The Namara Marketplace makes it possible for your organization to work smarter, not harder and provides your organization with the outside insight that you've been missing. 

By building a central point of access for any public data from any source, Namara frees your data science teams to be 100% solutions-focused. We’ve also built a place for organizations producing valuable data to monetize their assets by becoming a data partner – it’s a win-win.

If you need to connect to data to fuel smarter solutions within your organization, reach out to us to build something together.

ThinkData offers a lot more data than that – over 250,000 datasets from more than 75 countries around the world. Browse the Namara Marketplace now or request a consultation with one of our data experts to talk about external data.

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