Where's the Data?
One of the best things that have happened in the financial/technical communities in the last decade is how easy free and open source languages like R and Python have made getting useful data for financial analysis. In fact, both languages are so approachable, that any serious trader, analyst, or investor starting out today would be absolutely foolish not to learn them. Excel is today’s slide rule.
Here’s a simple example using R:
In this example we install a package, quantmod, and then use it to go out and get data from Yahoo and Fred.
Yahoo is an excellent source for timeseries data. The St Louis Fed website is a wealth of data. The R api gives you access to every series they have on the site. Very powerful.
Many other sources of quality data are available online. Quandl.com lists multiple databases that can be accessed from R or Python for nominal fees.
If you want to take your game to a new level, there’s lots of data out on the internet that can be “scraped” using a variety of techniques in R or Python.
Whatever your goal, be it financial analysis or otherwise, there is a wealth of data available and solid tools to access it.