If you haven’t filtered the entire web for spreadsheets, you haven’t even scraped the surface of the data sets available for you to grab.
The internet has billions of pages, files, and spreadsheets stored on various servers across the globe. It’s amazing that with the below search engines, you can search for spreadsheets uploaded to these servers.
Many of the files on the web are publically available and these search engines let you find them. They aren’t necessarily advertised anywhere, and yet the contents of the sheets bring them to light.
Not only can we find these files based on name and descriptions, but also the contents of the spreadsheets. We can take advantage of that fact to find all sorts of extremely valuable spreadsheets.
Let’s dive right into the cream of the crop of spreadsheets you can search for, and exactly how to do it!
Let’s talk about the king of data sheet formats, the CSV or comma-separated values. This is the filetype most used in transfering a set of data that can be easily ingested by data software.
Often I use this filetype when transferring data to and from different marketing programs. If you ask a business analyst of any kind if they use this format, the answer is going to be yes to some degree. It’s inevitable.
When you use the CSV Search Engine, you can immediately download the csv file from the website it came from, without ever leaving the search engine!
For example, I needed a list of US States for a project. I searched “US States” in the CSV search box, and within 5 seconds had my list of states ready to go.
Needless to say, there are millions of CSV files available for you to search for here.
XLSX is the default filetype that Microsoft Excel uses. If a file is saved from that software without changing the default settings, it’ll likely be saved in this filetype.
Using this search engine, you can find all of the Excel files across the entire world.
It’s no wonder you can find millions upon millions of XLSX files, some of which are hidden gems, indexed on public servers.
Consider the fact that there are even plenty of results on .gov sites and .edu sites that contain valuable studies and data sets.
For instance, upon doing a search for “ice cream consumption” I got a direct download link from a .gov website for the consumption of various dairy items by year. If I’m a dairy company, I might find this useful. Likewise if I’m a news site or blogger, I can publish an article using facts from that data set and potentially become an authoritative source on the subject.
You can find studies, tools, and data sets in such great quantities, so go ahead and start your XLSX search now.
Did you know there are millions of Google Sheets that people have made public? Whether people intentionally made their sheet public, or just thought they were making the link shareable, they are available for us to search.
Even more valuable is the fact that often Google Sheets have more context for you to explore surrounding data. You can save the sheet to your drive account, download the sheet, or just read it in your web browser.
Here’s how I used this search engine to uncover hidden Google sheet-based tools that I then was able to replicate for myself. I wanted to find a mortgage calculator, so I just searched “mortgage calculator”. Sure enough, somebody built a great one out in Google sheets and the URL was discovered by this search engine.
It’s quite amazing the sheer quantity of sheets available! If you’re searching for XLSX files, you might as well repeat the search on the Google Sheets search engine as well.
There’s not much to say here except the fact that the XLSX search engine doesn’t tell you the whole picture of Excel sheets. You see, many people save their spreadsheets as XLS instead of XLSX.
These files are a whole other ocean to search through apart from the aforementioned filetypes.
Basically, if you are hungry for more spreadsheet data after doing an XLSX search, you should jump right at an XLS search.
ODS Search Engine
Coming soon we’re building out a search engine for the Filetype .ODS. This is otherwise known as an OpenOffice Spreadsheet.
As you may know, OpenOffice created their own version of the Microsoft Office suite in order to provide a free alternative for people who don’t want to pay to use a file software.
By default, when people save an OpenOffice it will be saved into one of their specific file formats. You’ll find ODS to be more common for data sets outside the US, where they may find it more difficult or less desirable to pay for Microsoft Office.
You’ll find quite a few less results than the other filetype search engines, but there are still many results to be had. You may use this filetype engine as a last resort if you couldn’t find the data you needed in the other search engines.
Search All FileTypes At Once – Spreadsheet Search Engine
While there are very specific use cases to search for a CSV file compared to a XLSX file, you may also just want to search all of these filetypes at one time.
In total, this search engine will find:
- CSV Filetype
- XLSX Filetype
- XLS Filetype
- Google Sheets
- ODS Filetype
I can imagine quite a few data sets where searching for these filetypes in aggregate is a better way to go. This is especially true when you are looking for a list of values, not necessarily an excel tool or function.
Keep in mind CSVs won’t contain any of the macros, visual formatting, formulas, and some characters that the XLSX, XLS, and Google Sheet formats will contain.
I hope you find these tools useful. Please leave a comment with any suggestions, especially if you have any filetypes in mind that I may have skipped.