Published on Data Blog

Accessing development data in a dynamic mobile world

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We’ve just released our updated World Development Indicators (WDI) DataFinder apps for iOS and Android. We’re pleased with this new release which brings a host of new features to the well-reviewed app. It seems to us that the hunger for development data is almost insatiable.;

DataFinder is a free mobile app featuring the World Development Indicators database and other databases
Over the last few years,
  • The number of downloads from our Open Data website rose from 180,000 downloads in 2011 (about one year after we "opened" our data) to 2,000,000 downloads in 2014
  • The number of calls to our Application Programming Interface (API) has grown from 22,000 calls per month in 2011 to 50,000,000 calls per month in 2014
  • DataFinder mobile apps downloads increased from 10,000 downloads in 2011 to over 100,000 downloads in 2014
DataFinder app for iOS

Providing multiple avenues of access

To address this growing demand, we take a multi-faceted approach to producing and disseminating our data.
Data Finder country table for Ethiopia
Table view

We work on curating and disseminating a variety of data. These include the International Comparison Program (ICP), as well as subnational databases like the India Power Sector Review Database, Indonesia Database for Policy and Economic Research (INDO-DAPOER), and the Subnational Population database. You can access these and other databases like the WDI through DataBank and the Open Data Catalog.

We’ve been working on both improving the quality of our data and making our data tools more efficient and user-friendly. For example, through the creation of the WDI online tables and DataBank, data and metadata can be viewed online and downloadable in bulk form.
Chart view

Mobile apps for a mobile world

The DataFinder mobile apps now have far more features and run more efficiently. People now spend more time online with their mobile devices than they do with PCs or laptops, and it’s for this reason we continue to invest in making our data more mobile-friendly.

Furthermore, the apps bring data to those who may not have easy access to a traditional computer. Case in point: since the WDI’s initial release, 30% of DataFinder downloads are from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and East Asia.
Map view

The DataFinder app, which was initially developed for WDI data only, is also available for these topics:
  • HealthStats – A comprehensive database of health, nutrition, and population statistics
  • GenderStats – 200+ indicators on gender
  • EdStats – 1000+ indicators on education
  • Jobs – Indicators on employment, human capital, labor market institutions, and the business environment
  • Poverty and Inequality – Poverty and inequality data
  • LAC Poverty – Data about poverty, shared prosperity, and equity in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Climate Change – Data on the environment and climate change
The WDI DataFinder mobile app features:
  • Access to the most current data using the World Bank’s Open Data APIs
  • Offline data access
  • Pinch and zoom maps
  • Animated charts and maps
  • Ability to share data
  • Multilingual (English, French, Spanish, and Chinese)
  • Rank a country by indicator
  • Options for comparing countries or regional aggregates
  • Metadata for indicators and countries, including definitions and sources of data at cell level
  • PDF file for WDI book
Reviews for the DataFinder suite of apps continue to be enthusiastic. With this latest release of the DataFinder app, we hope you’ll enjoy a positive, mobile-friendly data experience.


Shelley Lai Fu

Senior Data Scientist

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