Jinfo BlogMy Favourite Tipples from an International Business Researcher

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By Mirjam Wolfrum

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My Favourite Tipples are shared by Mirjam Wolfrum, a researcher specialising in strategic international business information with a focus on clean and green technologies. She shares her favourite online resources in areas from statistics to tools for cleaning messy data, and sites for reliable freeware downloads.


My work involves creating strategic reports for my clients and finding or creating very specific data. I therefore use a large personal collection of energy, environment and technology resources, but regularly have to go and search beyond. Here are some of the sites and tools I regularly use:

  • International Energy Agency: I use statistics a lot. Providers such as the International Energy Agency, the UN Statistics Division or Eurostat are exemplary for providing a huge amount of national and international statistical resources, and making them freely available. If you are looking for a statistics institution, the top-down way of searching often pays. Large international organisations are easy to find and they publish the links to their sources (e.g. national offices). Those sources in turn publish their sources and so on.
  • OpenRefine: This is a nice tool for cleaning messy data. I also use it to transform datasets in order to make them comparable with others. If you are interested you need to download the tool to your computer. There are a lot of tutorials online on how to work with OpenRefine.
  • WolframAlpha: I find this most useful in many cases where I have to compare or to put in relation two pieces of data, or measuring units or any other numbers. The search engine is not only a quick way to calculate data in the different metric systems but also offers additional information which I sometimes find most inspiring for different search approaches.
  • Heise online: This is a German online IT journal which not only provides latest news on technology, computer, web and so on but also has a great and reliable download section for freeware.

An article on FreePint I found particularly interesting: 

  • I am also sharing a FreePint article I found most useful to my work. There are many of interest to me, but Andrew Lucas' "What Does it Take To Do Visualisation Well?" provides clear guidance on what is important to do visualisation well and a practical step-by-step tutorial on how to use different visualisation tools. I found the article a helpful reminder to present using less text and data and more infographics.

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