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Data Lab

Reliable, accessible data is essential for analyzing global problems and creating sustainable solutions. WRI’s work depends on data to provide effective, actionable recommendations for government leaders, the private sector and civil society.

WRI’s Data Lab works throughout the institute to help our researchers harness the full power of the data revolution and use modern technology to solve today’s most pressing issues. The Data Lab upholds WRI’s rigorous data standards and commitment to open data and knowledge-sharing. Over time, we will scale up the use of innovative analytical methods, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to build tools that help partners and users advance solutions for sustainable development.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

At WRI, innovation plays a key role in advancing our mission. Our analyses use machine learning to predict security risks around the world, using spatial information on natural resources, society and the economy; estimate carbon sequestration in new forests; and measure the generation of wind, solar and hydroelectricity at the plant level.

WRI is currently working to integrate technology beyond ML into our work. We are building precision tools and solutions with AI that will enable our partners and stakeholders to make critical advancements at a larger scale.

AI and ML technologies allow us to update our understanding as we get new data and improve our products and analyses as we learn how they are used. This adaptive, technology-forward approach enables WRI to ensure accuracy and timeliness in our data, which informs our recommendations to create a sustainable world.

WRI’s Data Standards and Commitment to Open Data

The Data Lab not only leads our work to innovate data practices, but also upholds our commitments to high quality research and open data.

Every WRI publication is held to rigorous academic standards and strict internal processes to ensure accuracy, objectivity and timeliness, all of which relies on verifying data and other information through an intensive review process. Additionally, the Data Lab is working to develop and implement standards of excellence for all data production and use.

We believe that a free flow of information is essential to creating sound policies and making informed decisions. To that end, all vetted data and research from WRI is free, accessible and downloadable for anyone to use, share and adapt. Read more about this commitment here.


In addition to data platforms, WRI curates and produces datasets that support our research. Under our open data commitment, each dataset is free to use, adapt and distribute. We are continuously working to create new datasets that illustrate global challenges and allow for thoughtful research into actionable solutions. Our datasets are available here.

Partner with Us

We are looking for partners who are interested in the potential for AI and ML to address the world’s most pressing issues. If you would like to contribute to this growing body of work please contact Brookie Guzder-Williams at

WRI’s suite of data platforms are at the forefront of our data work. These platforms enable users to monitor forest change in near-real time, track the drivers of climate change, analyze water risks around the world, examine the cross-section of global environmental issues and more.

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