Generating fake realistic data for your activities

data-management-iconOne of the challenges a Computer Applications Technology teacher faces is that of having enough realistic data with which to work. Creating theory tests is easy, asking questions is easy but having data that students must engage with and manipulate for practical activities is always an issue.

The data must be substantial, relevant and contextual and must be able to be formatted in a “real-world” scenario to make it worthwhile and to be able to develop the right skills first time. It’s a challenge nonetheless!

Where do you find a database of hundreds of people with unique names, addresses and other information that is relevant (in a South African context) and usable?

Data generation

The first place, if you have nowhere else to go, is an automatic data generation web site. That’s what I did!

Here are some sites that will allow you to generate random data at the click of a button. Some of them have a few configurable options that you can specify and others allow you to generate up to 1000 records at a time! Very useful indeed.

 Free fake data for members

data-resourcesI have created Excel spreadsheets with LOTS of data for adults or a fictional school. Made with realistic fields applicable to a South African context. Feel free to change names or anything you want. It’s all fictitious and no real data is used in the databases.

Great for Mail merge, filtering, queries, reports, manipulating data or using for creating a quick database in Access to use in a test for example. I used Mockaroo and tried to make the data as usable as possible.

The files are available in the Resources section.