How information is organized

Enigma Public contains tens of thousands of datasets of publicly available data from all over the world. We’ve organized these datasets into collections to help you explore what’s available, based on the kind of information you’re seeking. For example, if you’re looking for information from a U.S. Government agency (like the Department of Agriculture), United States > U.S. Federal Governments is the place to begin.

Keep in mind that each dataset belongs to only one collection, so if your initial path does not yield the information you’re seeking, think about other possible locations, or use the Search box (see Searching for information).

As you navigate through the collection hierarchy (see Browsing Enigma Public), you’ll reach the dataset level. Datasets are where the actual information resides. For example, if you’re seeking information about artists whose work is represented in the Tate collection in the UK, browsing through Organizations > Tate brings you to the Tate Collection Artists dataset, where you’ll find the information you’re seeking.

Each collection and dataset has associated metadata. Metadata provides information about the collection or dataset (a description, the date it was last updated, etc.) – not the actual data. As you browse through Enigma Public you’ll see the metadata for the selected collection or dataset displayed on the right of the screen. The metadata will help you decide if the collection or dataset contains information of interest.

Each dataset contains the actual data in the form of a “snapshot.” A snapshot is table of rows and columns (“fields”) populated with the most recent information for the parent dataset. When you open a dataset, you’ll see the most recent snapshot, along with the dataset metadata and the field names (see Viewing a dataset). Depending on the dataset, you may also see descriptions of the fields.

If you find a dataset of interest and you’d like to help annotate the dataset to assist other Enigma Public users, contact us at Contact us also to report an error or request a new dataset.