SDW HELP CONTENTS

SDW OVERVIEW AND DATA STRUCTURE
The Dataset Concept
SDW Functions

SDW HOME PAGE

BROWSING DATA
Using the Data Navigation Menu

SEARCHING FOR DATA
Submitting a Series or Metadata Search
The Search Results

FILTERING AND SELECTING DATA
Selected Datasets
Filter Options
The Advanced Filter
Common Description
Selected Series

VIEWING DATA AND ASSOCIATED EXPLANATIONS
Viewing Explanations (Metadata)
Viewing the Data Table
Viewing the Data Chart

VIEWING REPORTS

EXPORTING DATA
Regular data download
SDW Web Services

MY SETTINGS
Setting Display Options

STORING AND MANAGING DATA AND REPORTS
Compiling, Storing and Managing Reports Using My Reports
Compiling, Storing and Managing Data Using My Data
Notification Service

LOGIN

CURRENCY CONVERTER

THE SITE DIRECTORY

THE GLOSSARY

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

CONTACT US

SDW OVERVIEW AND DATA STRUCTURE Return to help contents

The Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW) provides access to a vast quantity of statistical data and metadata available at the ECB, and will be extended to other data in the future.

Data in the SDW is organised into datasets, such as BOP, BSI and EXR. A dataset is a logical grouping of data, which consists of a collection of time series belonging to the same “set” and sharing both a common business meaning and dimensional structure.

The Dataset Concept      Return to help contents

SDW datasets typically consist of more than three dimensions. The number and type of dimensions vary according to the dataset. Most datasets share several common dimensions such as Frequency and Geographic Area. The Balance Sheet Items (BSI) dataset, for instance, has eleven dimensions, while the Balance of Payments (BOP) dataset is associated with the following eight dimensions:

  • Frequency
  • Geographic Area
  • Data Type
  • Balance of Payment Item
  • Adjustment Indicator
  • Currency Breakdown
  • Counterpart Area
  • Series Denomination

Each dimension can be constrained by assigning a specific value to it. A selected dataset with constraints applied to all of its dimensions is identical with a single time series. A dataset without any constraints represents the largest possible collection of time series available for a chosen economic concept. For instance, a BOP time series can be represented by the following notation:

BOP.Q.U2.N.4.200.N.A1.E,

while the entire BOP dataset can be described as:

BOP.%.%.%.%.%.%.%.%,
where "%" indicates that there is no value specified for a dimension.

There are a multitude of possible combinations of dimensional constraints. For example:

BOP.Q.%.%.%.%.%.%.%
denotes all quarterly BOP time series;

BOP.%.U2.%.%.%.%.%.%
denotes all BOP time series for euro area;

BOP.%.U2.N.4.200.N.A1.E
denotes all BOP time series for the euro area belonging to current account (services), neither seasonally nor working day-adjusted, with the World as counterpart area, and net flows in euro [“sibling” level: including all dimensions except frequency and period]

BOP.Q.U2.%.%.200.%.%.%
denotes all quarterly BOP time series for the euro area, belonging to current account (services).

In addition to time series data, the SDW provides access to data explanations (metadata) on various levels, including observation-level attributes (e.g. status and confidentiality), series/sibling-level information (e.g. title and compilation method), dimension descriptions and others.

The SDW also enables users to perform simple data transformations such as year-to-year percentage changes or frequency conversion.

SDW Functions      Return to help contents

The SDW comprises three major functions as described below:

Browse Browse data using a hierarchical navigation system organised either by economic concept or by report type.
Search Search for data by submitting a text or series key search.
My Data Groups Compile, store and manage selected data for future use (requires login to SDW).
Notification Service

The Browse and My Data Groups modules are accessible at any time through the left-hand-side navigation menu, while the Search option can be accessed by clicking on the "Search" button that appears on the upper header of all SDW pages. You may choose to log in to your SDW account at any time by clicking on the Login link located in the upper right-hand corner of all SDW pages. Note that this is only necessary for accessing the My Data Groups function.

The SDW functions further allow you to make a Data Selection of particular time series, to display Data Table, Data Chart or Explanation, or to Export or save (Add to My Data) the series of your choice. To choose an action, click on a relevant button from the "data functions toolbar" available at the top of most of the pages:

SDW HOME PAGE Return to help contents

The SDW home page displays the most up-to-date values of key euro area indicators. It consists of three areas: a data table, data chart and a release calendar area.

The data table entitled "Selected Indicators for the Euro Area" shows the latest values of the most important economic indicators for the euro area. The corresponding reference period for each value is displayed to the right of each value. To view the entire series, click on a selected observation. A Quick View page containing complete information about the series will pop up.

You can change the indicator displayed in the chart area by marking a corresponding radio button on the left-hand side of the data table. The data chart area will adjust dynamically.

The release calendar displays publication dates of the five forthcoming data releases (some of them accompanied by a press release). The entire calendar can be found on the ECB's website.

BROWSING DATA Return to help contents

Using the Data Navigation Menu

You can browse through SDW data using the following navigation hierarchies:

Economic Concept Browse data by a variety of economic concepts such as prices, output and demand, money banking and financial markets and external transactions.
Reports Browse data by a variety of pre-defined SDW reports. View online versions of regular statistical publications (e.g. Monthly Bulletin) and retrieve latest values of indicators published in a selected report.

In addition, the following options appear below the two primary navigation hierarchies:

My Data Groups Browse data previously selected and stored by you as private data groups. This requires you to log in to your SDW account.
You can also subscribe to Notification Service and be alerted each time the data are updated.
My Selected Search Results Access the results of the most recent search conducted during your current SDW session.

To begin browsing SDW data, select one of the navigation options from the left-hand navigation menu. The option selected will expand, and a list of items (high-level economic concepts for the first option and report titles for the second) will appear. The vast majority of these "second-level' items contain further hierarchical levels, which can be expanded in the same manner. Items may contain different numbers of hierarchical levels, depending on the breadth, content and amount of data associated with them.

The My Data Groups option operates in the same manner as the two primary navigation hierarchies (although any private data groups listed under My Data exist as second-level items and cannot be expanded any further).

A navigation item preceded by a plus sign ( + ) indicates that the item contains further sub-items and can be expanded. A navigation item preceded by a minus sign ( - ) indicates that you are currently browsing within that item. The most recently selected item is highlighted in blue. As you browse through the hierarchy you will see that all relevant information (metadata) pertaining to your selections appears within the main content area. Navigation items not preceded by a ( + ) or ( - ) sign are at the lowest level of the hierarchy (leaf nodes). Selecting one of these items will, in most cases, display the Data Selection page, which will present the data pertaining to your hierarchy selection and allow you to select data at a more granular level.

If a selection at the lowest level of the hierarchy is associated with less than 25 individual time series, you will be directed automatically to the Data Table page, which displays the time series observations in tabular format.

The navigation menu Reports offers, in addition, pages displayed in PDF format.

The My Selected Search Results options is not hierarchical. It leads directly to the results page of the most recent search conducted during your current SDW session (if applicable).

SEARCHING FOR DATA Return to help contents

To begin searching for data, enter your search criteria into a text box located in the top right-hand corner of each SDW page and click on the Search button. To perform a more advanced search (metadata search), simply click on the Search button without entering any text.

There are two different search types available through the SDW advanced search page:

Series Search Search through series titles when submitting freeform text (e.g. inflation euro area), or through series codes when submitting a partial or complete series key.
Metadata Search Search through all data explanations (metadata).

Submitting a Series Search or Metadata Search      Return to help contents

The Series Search is the default SDW search option. Enter your search criteria into the search text box and click on the Search button. A message will appear informing you that your search is being conducted.

Note that the free text search will, by default, retrieve series whose titles include all your search terms. Therefore it is not necessary to include the AND logical operator between your search terms.

However, combining two or more search terms with the OR logical operator requires explicit definition- e.g. industrial production "euro area" OR gdp "euro area" . Logical operators ( AND , OR and NOT ) must be specified using capital letters.

The order of search terms is unimportant. Therefore, entering seasonally adjusted unemployment Luxembourg and Luxembourg unemployment seasonally adjusted would yield identical search results. To search for a particular phrase, simply enter the phrase in double quotation marks- e.g. "gross domestic product". In this case, the order of the search terms is important.

If you are unsure whether a noun should be entered in singular or plural form (or whether a verb should be specified in the present or past tense) then consider using a stem search. This involves inserting a dollar sign ( $ ) before the search term in question. For instance, if you would like your search to generate results containing both interest rate OR interest rates , you would enter interest $rate as your search criterion. Your search would retrieve results containing "interest" plus any derivative of the noun "rate".

To search by series key, click on the "Series Key" radio button from the list of available search types (located below the text box). Enter your series key search criteria into the search text box and click on the Search button. A message will appear informing you that your search is being conducted.

You may enter partial or complete series keys with the option of using wildcards for series dimension values. The following wildcards are permitted:

  • ? or % for multiple characters (e.g., BOP.M.? or EXR.%.EUR.% ),
  • ^ or _ for a single character (e.g., BOP.^.U2.N.4.200.N.A1.E or EXR._.USD.EUR.SP00.A )

You may also enter a list of complete series keys separated by a comma, a tabulator or a blank space, e.g.:

  • EXR.M.BGN.EUR.SP00.A, EXR.M.CHF.EUR.SP00.A, EXR.M.CZK.EUR.SP00.A, EXR.M.DKK.EUR.SP00.A, EXR.M.EEK.EUR.SP00.A, EXR.M.GBP.EUR.SP00.A, EXR.M.HUF.EUR.SP00.A

The length of time between the submission of your search criteria and the appearance of the search results will depend on the breadth (specificity) of your search criteria. Broader searches that specify very general terms (for example, GDP , HICP or M3 ) typically take longer to process than more restrictive searches (such as GDP "euro area" or HICP "euro area" energy ), and are likely to result in thousands of series whose titles contain these general terms. Restricting your search criteria will usually result in faster processing and more relevant search results. Please note that search performance may also be affected by network bandwidth availability and the general state of the ECB network and intranet environment.

The following text search operators are available:

AND   Use the AND operator to search for data items containing all search terms specified. However, since this is the default logical operator, it is not necessary to explicitlyinclude AND between search terms.
OR   Use the OR operator to search for data items containing any of the search terms specified.

For example: "euro area" HICP OR "euro area" GDP , which will return data items containing either "euro area" and "HICP" or "euro area" and "GDP".
NOT (~) Use the NOT operator ( ~ ) to search for data items containing one search term and not the other.

For example: "euro area" M3 ~ "Index of Notional Stocks" , which will return all data items that include "M3" and "euro area" but do not include "Index of Notional Stocks".
soundex (!) Use the soundex ( ! ) operator to expand a search to include words that have similar sounds, i.e. words that sound like other words. This function allows comparison of words that are spelled differently but sound alike in English.

For example: !labour productivity , which will return data items that include "productivity" and "labour" or "labor".
stem ($) Use the stem ( $ ) operator to search for terms that have the same linguistic root as the search term.

For example: "euro area" $employ , which will return data items containing "euro area" and "employment", "employed", or "employees".
[wildcards] (%)

( _ )
Wildcard characters can be used in search expressions to expand word searches into pattern searches.

The percent ( % ) wildcard denotes a string of characters appearing in positions indicated by the wildcard. For example: %euro employ% .

The underscore wildcard ( _ ) denotes the occurrence of any character appearing in the position indicated by the underscore. Right truncation involves placing the wildcard on the right-hand side of the search string. For example: "euro area" M_ , which will return data items containing "euro area" and "M0", "M1", "M2", etc.

Left truncation involves placing the wildcard on the left-hand side of the search string. The left-truncated and right-truncated searches may be combined to create double-truncated searches.
[parentheses] ( ) Parentheses are useful for defining search criteria in a more concise manner, or in constructing complex searches that involve multiple search operators. For example:

"euro area" (GDP OR M3)
, which will return data items containing either "euro area GDP" or "euro area M3".

"euro area" (GDP OR HICP) NOT cyclical% , which will return data items containing either "euro area GDP" or "euro area HICP", but without phrases beginning with "cyclical".

Parentheses are also useful when specifying search terms to be excluded. To exclude more then one term from a search, combine the terms using the OR operator. For example: "euro area" HICP NOT (energy OR food)
To exclude more then one term only if they appear together, combine the terms to be excluded using the AND operator. For example: "euro area" HICP NOT (energy AND food)

The Search Results       Return to help contents

The Search Results page appears once your search is complete. It contains five different areas (not all of which will appear for every search, as this depends on the type of search conducted and the nature of the search results).

For the Series Search, the following areas are displayed:

Reference Series A list of reference series matching your search criteria. The number of reference series displayed appears in parentheses. Not all search results will contain reference series.
Published Series A list of published series (series published- e.g. in the Monthly Bulletin or Statistics Pocket Book) matching your search criteria. The number of published series displayed appears in parentheses. Not all search results will contain published series.
Series A list of time series sets matching your search criteria. The number of time series sets returned appears in parentheses.

The Search Result page contains the following areas for the Metadata Search:

Explanatory items A list of datasets of which the explanatory notes (metadata) match your search criteria (text search only). The number of items displayed appears in parentheses.

Matching Codelists

A list of datasets of which the dimension description fields match your search criteria. The number of matching codelits appears in parentheses.

Please note that the maximum of displayable series on Search Result page is 1000 per above mentioned category. If your search criteria result in more series, only the first 1000 will be displayed and you will be asked to refine your query.

Your search criteria are displayed at the top of the page, along with information on the number of series, siblings and explanatory items retrieved as a result of your search. For quick access to these areas, click on one of the numbers displayed. Each area may be collapsed and expanded as needed using the hide/ show icons displayed in the top right-hand corner of the area.

Each series title is a hyperlink on the result page of the Series Search. It leads to a Quick View page:

Quick View

Click on the link to view all data and associated explanations (metadata) pertaining to this series/sibling set. The Quick View page appears as a pop up window and displays the series-level metadata, data table and data chart for the selected time series/sibling. For quick access to any of these areas, click on the anchor links at the top of the Quick View page.

The Series-Level Information section displays all associated explanations available for the selected series. If the series is used in any of the ECB's regular statistical publications, a corresponding publication icon will appear. Note that owing to space constraints some series-level information may not be visible at first. Use the "Show all" button at the bottom of the section to expand/hide the entire area.

Within the Data Table section the series appears in descending order. Two key series attributes (observation status and observation confidentiality) are displayed on the right-hand side of the series. Source information is provided in the first line of the Data Table area.

It is also possible to perform a simple data transformation by choosing an appropriate option within the Parameters and Transformations section. Note that this section is hidden by default; to expand it, click on the "Show Filters Option" button.

The Quick View can be printed by clicking on the Print button located at the top of the page. Please be aware that the printout may be quite long depending on the amount of data appearing within the selected series.

The following icon may appear beneath the series/sibling key of reference or published series:

Return to help contents

Publication icon - click on this to launch the online publication table (e.g. from the Monthly Bulletin online or the Statistics Pocket Book online) that includes the associated time series.
To identify a publication assigned to an icon, move a mouse cursor over the icon. The tool tip will show the publication title as well as the number of the table in which the series appears. Note that in order to view restricted publications (such as Orange Book) you need to be an authorised user (contact Statistics Hotline for more details).

The following button is displayed at the top and bottom of the Search Results page:

Return to help contents Click on this to browse your selected search result items. You will be directed to the Data Selection page where you can filter, select and export data, as well as view data and associated explanations (metadata). If the selected search results contain less than 50 individual time series, you will be directed automatically to the Data Table page, which displays the time series observations in tabular format.

Sorting of search result areas

The Reference Series, Published Series and Series areas contain retrieved as a result of your Series Search (not all search results will contain reference or published series). Each entry is identified with a key and title, and the results are sorted as follows:

  1. Number of publication icons (if applicable)
  2. Data source (first ECB, followed by other sources)
  3. First \223Euro area\224 then other series
  4. Series key and sibling key in alphabetical order

To select or unselect a series, check the corresponding series checkbox. To (un-)select all series from the section, (un-)check the box in the upper left-hand corner of the area.

 

The Explanatory Items and Matching Codelists areas display a list of datasets of which the dimension description fields or any other metadata match your search criteria. They are sorted as follows:

Explanatory Items:

  1. Explanatory notes (alphabetically)
  2. Cube descriptions

Matching Codelists:

  1. Rank (desc.)
  2. Relevant Dataset Name
  3. Applicable Dimension

To select or unselect an item, check the corresponding checkbox.

FILTERING AND SELECTING DATA Return to help contents

The Data Selection page is the primary “launch pad” for performing many key SDW functions. It is usually presented as a result of:

  • browsing for data through the left-hand SDW navigation menu;
  • making a request to browse an SDW search results selection; and
  • accessing a data group through My Data Groups.

Data appearing on the Data Selection page may be:

  • filtered: data may be filtered on the basis of common dataset dimensions. Note: In order to see a list of "Selected Series" relating to your selection, your filtering criteria must be less than 500 series. To make a more detailed selection you can use the common filter fields, such as "Frequency" or "Geographic Area", or you can go to the "Advanced Filters" page where more options are available. You may also deselect some of the "Selected Datasets" which appear at the top of each "Data Selection" page.
  • viewed: selected data may be viewed and printed in tabular or chart format. Explanations (metadata) associated with the selected data may also be viewed.
  • exported: selected data may be exported into Excel, CSV or XML format.
  • stored: selected data may be compiled and stored on a long-term basis as a private data group. This data may be accessed and managed through the My Data Groups option.

The Data Selection page contains four areas:

Selected Datasets A list of datasets retrieved via data browsing or a data search, constrained by any filter criteria selected. The number of datasets displayed appears in parentheses.
Filter Options Options for filtering retrieved time series on the basis of common dataset dimensions.
Common Description All common filter criteria currently applying to your selection. The Common Description will be updated with the common filter criteria (if any) every time you make a change to the filter options.
Selected Series A list of time series retrieved via data browsing or a data search, constrained by the filter options. The number of time series presented appears in parentheses.

On a Data Selection page, the relevant button inside the "data functions toolbar" is highlighted in blue:

Click on a button from the toolbar to view Data Table, Data Chart or Explanation, to apply Advanced Filter criteria, or to Export or save (Add to My Data) the time series of your choice.

Selected Datasets       Return to help contents

The Selected Datasets area displays a list of datasets that are associated with time series retrieved via data browsing or a data search, constrained by any filter criteria selected. Each dataset displayed is therefore associated with at least one time series in the Selected Series area, if no filters have been set. The number of time series retrieved for each dataset appears in parentheses after the dataset name. All datasets displayed here are selected by default. To unselect a dataset (if there is more than one dataset present), uncheck the corresponding checkbox. All series associated with the dataset will be removed from the Selected Series area. To re-select the dataset, click on the corresponding checkbox.

The following icons are displayed in the top right-hand corner of the Selected Datasets areas:

hide / show Collapse/Expand area - click on this to hide/show the Filter Options area.

The following icons appear next to each dataset:

Return to help contents Open in Excel Pivot Table - click on this to export the dataset to an Excel pivot table. The pivot table displays the time series key in the row area, the observation date in the column area, the observation value in the data area and any dimensions with more than one value in the page area. Please be aware that the exported file may be quite big depending on the amount of data apearing in the selected dataset.

Filter Options       Return to help contents

The Filter Options offer a mechanism for filtering time series on the basis of common dataset dimensions. You can use the Filter Options at any time to apply further data restrictions and refine your current selection, regardless of how you arrived at the Data Selection page (i.e., through data browsing, a data search, etc.).

The Filter Options contain only the key dataset dimensions shared by the series appearing in the Selected Series area. The Frequency and Geographic Area filter dimensions are almost always both available, since these dimensions are common to most datasets. Other important and frequently used dimensions shared by the series contained in the Selected Series area appear below the Frequency and Geographic Area dimensions. Filter dimensions that contain only a single value are “greyed out”.

Filter dimension values are often interdependent and are adjusted dynamically according to your filter criteria selections. If, for example, you modify the Frequency filter dimension from “Monthly” to “Quarterly”, the filter option values for the other common dimensions may change to reflect only the available values for quarterly data. Note that each time you select or change a value from a filter dimension, the entire Data Selection page will reload with the updated filter restrictions applied to the data, as well as a refreshed set of filter option values “tailored” to your current filter criteria. This mechanism prevents you from specifying a filter combination that does not yield any data.

To filter data, select the desired filter criteria from the dimensions available. To select multiple values for a particular dimension, press down on the Shift key while selecting consecutive values, or on the Ctrl key while selecting non-consecutive values.

Any criteria selected within a filter always appear at the top of the list and are highlighted in blue.

The following icons are displayed in the top right-hand corner of the Filter Options area:

hide / show Collapse/Expand area - click on this to hide/show the Filter Options area.
filter Advanced Filter - click on this to view additional filter dimensions applicable to your data selection.
reset Reset Filter Options - click on this to reset the current filter options applied to the data. Any restrictions applied to the data through the filter options will be removed, and the original set of data will appear.

The Advanced Filter      Return to help contents

The Advanced Filter appears on a new page and contains two areas:

Filter Options Options for filtering retrieved time series based on frequently-used common dataset dimensions.
Dimensions Additional dataset dimensions that may be used to filter data.

The Advanced Filter presents less frequently-used dataset dimensions applying to the data contained within the Selected Series area. The primary filter options are displayed first as they appear on the Data Selection page (reflecting all current filter criteria), followed by the additional dimensions.

The Advanced Filter operates exactly like the primary Filter Options. Each time you select or change a value from a filter dimension, the entire Advanced Filter page will reload with the updated filter restrictions applied to the data on the Data Selection page, as well as with a refreshed set of filter option values “tailored” to your current filter criteria. The number of time series retrieved appears in parentheses directly above the Dimensions area.

To return to the Data Selection page, click on the Data Selection button in the "data functions toolbar" that appears at the top of the page. Your advanced filter criteria will be displayed in the Common Description area. To modify your advanced filter criteria, click on the Advanced Filter button in the toolbar that appears at the top of the page.

The following icons are displayed in the top right-hand corner of the Filter Options area:

hide / show Collapse/Expand area - click on this to hide/show the Filter Options area.
reset Reset Filter Options - click on this to reset the current filter options applied to the data. Any restrictions applied to the data through the filter options will be removed, and the original set of data will appear.

Common Description       Return to help contents

The Common Description area displays all filter criteria applying to your selection. It always appears when your data selection pertains to datasets that share the same dimensional structure. It indicates the dimension names as well as the filter values applied to the dimensions. Together with a short series title, displayed in the Selected Series area, it forms a complete description of the series.

Selected Series       Return to help contents

The Selected Series area displays a list of time series retrieved via data browsing or a data search, constrained by any filter criteria selected. If a selection made from the left-hand navigation menu or from the search contains more than 250 time series (which is often the case), you will be asked to restrict your search to reduce the number of series presented. Each series is identified with a title, series key, and begin/end dates. Series are grouped in the following order:

  1. Reference Series - the most important set of series for a particular concept (demarcated by a light green background);
  2. Published Series - series that are published, e.g. in the Monthly Bulletin or Statistics Pocket Book (demarcated by a green background);
  3. Other Series - non-reference series that are not published (demarcated by a grey background).

The vast majority of reference series are also published. Note that not all navigation items and search results will contain reference and published series.

To select or unselect a series, check the corresponding series checkbox.

The following icon appears directly below each series key for all published series and reference series that are published (one icon per publication):

Return to help contents

Publication icon - click on this to launch the online publication table (e.g. from the Monthly Bulletin online or the Statistics Pocket Book online) that includes the associated time series.

To identify a publication assigned to an icon, move a mouse cursor over the icon. The tool tip will show the publication title as well as the number of the table in which the series appears.

Clicking on the navigation menu Reports will reveal a list of all publications in the SDW.

A title of each series/sibling is a hyperlink. It leads to a Quick View page:

Quick View

Click on the link to view all data and associated explanations (metadata) pertaining to this series/sibling set. The Quick View page appears as a pop up window and displays the series-level metadata, data table and data chart for the selected time series/sibling. For quick access to any of these areas, click on the anchor links at the top of the Quick View page.

The Series-Level Information section displays all associated explanations available for the selected series. If the series is used in any of the ECB's regular statistical publications, a corresponding publication icon will appear. Note that owing to space constraints some series-level information may not be visible at first. Use the "Show all" button at the bottom of the section to expand/hide the entire area.

Within the Data Table section the series appears in descending order. Two key series attributes (observation status and observation confidentiality) are displayed on the right-hand side of the series. Source information is provided in the first line of the Data Table area.

It is also possible to perform a simple data transformation by choosing an appropriate option within the Parameters and Transformations section. Note that this section is hidden by default; to expand it, click on the "Show Filters Option" button.

The Quick View can be printed by clicking on the Print button located at the top of the page. Please be aware that the printout may be quite long depending on the amount of data appearing within the selected series.
VIEWING DATA AND ASSOCIATED EXPLANATIONS (METADATA) Return to help contents

You can view data and associated explanations (metadata) for up to 25 selected series at a time.

To view data and metadata, use the following buttons appearing in the "data functions toolbar" at the top of the page:

Return to help contents Click on this to view all information available for your selected series.
data table Click on this to view a data table presenting your selected series.
data chart Click on this to view a data chart displaying your selected series.

Viewing Explanations (Metadata)       Return to help contents

The Explanation page contains information grouped according to two levels of detail: dataset and series levels. This type of information is often referred to as metadata.

The most common definition of "metadata" is "data about data". In statistical terms, it provides information about statistical data and about processes of producing and using the data (methodology, compilation methods, data sources, etc.).

The dataset-level explanation represents the highest level of information corresponding to the datasets to which your selected time series belong. Explanatory notes will appear for each of these datasets. An example of dataset-level metadata can be information about data collection or compilation.

The series-level explanation is the lowest level of metadata. Each of your selected series will have an entry under series-level explanations. Typical series-level metadata are, for example, the series title or information about units in which the series is expressed.

The following icons are displayed in the top right-hand corner of each of the two metadata areas:

hide / show Collapse/Expand area - click on this to hide/show a metadata area.

On an Explanation page, the relevant button inside the "data functions toolbar" is highlighted in blue:

Click on a button from the toolbar to view Data Selection, Data Table or Data Chart or to apply Advanced Filter criteria. Please note that the Export and Add to My Data functions are deactivated on this page.

Viewing the Data Table       Return to help contents

The Data Table page displays your selected data in tabular format. It also enables basic data transformations

It consists of three areas: Parameters and Transformations, Common Description (if applicable) and data area.

Parameters and Transformations section

The Parameters and Transformations section allows you to change the date range of displayed series and apply one of the pre-selected data transformations. Note that the section is hidden by default; to expand it use the "Show Filter Options" icon.

To restrict the date range of the data displayed, enter a date range in DD-MM-YYYY format in the date range fields at the top of the Data Table page and click on the "Apply Settings" button. The page will refresh with data displayed in accordance with your date range restriction. To remove the date range restriction, click on the "Reset Settings" button.

To apply a simple data transformation choose one of the available functions from a dropdown list located at the bottom of the Parameters and Transformations section. It is only possible to select one transformation type at a time. A selected transformation applies to all series displayed within the data area, and the transformed values appear on the right-hand side of each time series.

Note that when working with frequency conversion functions it is only possible to convert data from a higher to a lower frequency (for example, monthly data into quarterly data). The conversion method depends on the collection indicator of a selected series (this can be checked using the Explanation tab). The most common collection indicators are: average over a period (A); beginning of period (B); and end of period (E). The respective conversion method acts as follows: (A) - calculates an average over a specified period; (B) - retrieves the first observation of a specified period; and (E) - retrieves the last observation of a specified period.

Other collection indicators include highest and lowest in a period (H and L respectively) and summed through period (S).

The example below shows a monthly time series containing values for a year and the annual values resulting from conversions following the different collection indicator values.

Example time series:
Jan 2005 1.00
Feb 2005 1.20
Mar 2005 1.50
Apr 2005 1.80
May 2005 1.00
Jun 2005 2.30
Jul 2005 2.10
Aug 2005 2.00
Sep 2005 1.80
Oct 2005 2.10
Nov 2005 1.70
Dec 2005 1.60
Collection indicator Annual value for 2005 Calculation
A 1.68 Sum of all 12 observations divided by 12
B 1.00 Beginning of period: January observation
E 1.60 End of period: December observation
H 2.30 Highest value of the period
L 1.00 Lowest value of the period
S 20.10 All values of the period summed

Other transformations allow you to calculate year-to-year and period-to-period changes and percentage changes. Please note that these transformation options cannot be used if time series contain both negative and positive values. The time series have to be comprised of either negative or positive observations in order for these transformations to work.

It should also be noted that these changes require the existence of both values, i.e. the value of the previous year or period and that of the current one, otherwise the resulting value will be a "null" value. This is often the case when calculating the year-to-year or period-to-period (percentage) changes for data reported on a business frequency, as the same date of the previous year might have fallen on a weekend or a bank holiday.

You can also control the way in which missing values are treated. This is done using the "Ignore missing values" option, available on the My Settings page. The option is set to true by default (the corresponding checkbox is marked) and instructs the SDW to ignore missing values and, accordingly, drop them from the calculation.

Common Description

Also appearing on the Data Table page is the Common Description from the Data Selection page, which displays all common filter criteria currently applying to your data selection.

Data area

Within the data area, time series are displayed by default in time-descending order. To reverse the order, click on the arrow displayed at the top of the period column. Period labels are displayed on the left. The series titles identifying each series appear at the top, while time series keys are shown in the tool tips of the time series titles. Source information is provided for each of the displayed series. To identify the data provider for a selected series, check the reference note after the series title. A list of corresponding data providers (source) appears in the first line of the data area.

If you have selected time series with different frequencies and have elected to display data by frequency (on the My Settings page), you will have the option of viewing your series grouped together and presented separately by frequency. Select a frequency from the drop down options directly above the Data Table to view all selected series with the chosen frequency. To view all selected series on the same page, simply select "All" from the Frequency options. To change your frequency display preference, check/uncheck the Display Data by Frequency checkbox (under Display Options) on the My Settings page.

Please note that owing to a restriction on the amount of data that can be displayed, only a limited number of observations can be taken into account in the the data table display. If the maximum number of observations is exceeded, older observations will not be displayed in the data table. In order to access all observations, the export to Excel, CSV or XML options need to be used.

To generate a printer-friendly version of the data table, use the Print button appearing at the top of the Data Table page.

On a Data Table page, the relevant button inside the "data functions toolbar" is highlighted in blue:

Click on a button from the toolbar to view Data Selection, Data Chart or Explanation, to apply Advanced Filter criteria, or to Export or save (Add to My Data) the time series of your choice.

Viewing the Data Chart       Return to help contents

The Data Chart page displays your selected data in graphical format.

It consists of three areas: Parameters and Transformations, Common Description (if applicable), and a chart area.

Parameters and Transformations section

The Parameters and Transformations section allows you to change the date range of displayed series and apply one of the pre-selected data transformations. Note that the section is hidden by default; to expand it use the "Show Filter Options" icon.

To restrict the date range of the data displayed, enter a date range in DD-MM-YYYY format in the date range fields at the top of the Data Chart page and click on the "Apply Settings" button. The page will refresh with data displayed in accordance with your date range restriction. To remove the date range restriction, click on the "Reset Settings" button.

To apply a simple data transformation, choose one of the available functions from a dropdown list located at the bottom of the Parameters and Transformations section. It is only possible to select one transformation type at a time. The transformation applies to all series displayed in the chart area, and they are displayed together with the original series.

Note that when working with frequency conversion functions it is only possible to convert data from a higher to a lower frequency (for example, monthly data into quarterly data). The conversion method depends on the collection indicator of a selected series (this can be checked using the Explanation tab). The most common collection indicators are: average over a period (A); beginning of period (B); and end of period (E). The respective conversion method acts as follows: (A) - calculates an average over a specified period; (B) - retrieves the first observation of a specified period; and (E) - retrieves the last observation of a specified period.

Other collection indicators include highest and lowest in a period (H and L respectively) and summed through period (S).

The example below shows a monthly time series containing values for a year and the annual values resulting from conversions following the different collection indicator values.

Example time series:
Jan 2005 1.00
Feb 2005 1.20
Mar 2005 1.50
Apr 2005 1.80
May 2005 1.00
Jun 2005 2.30
Jul 2005 2.10
Aug 2005 2.00
Sep 2005 1.80
Oct 2005 2.10
Nov 2005 1.70
Dec 2005 1.60

Collection indicator Annual value for 2005 Calculation
A 1.68 Sum of all 12 observations divided by 12
B 1.00 Beginning of period: January observation
E 1.60 End of period: December observation
H 2.30 Highest value of the period
L 1.00 Lowest value of the period
S 20.10 All values of the period summed

Other transformations allow you to calculate year-to-year and period-to-period changes and percentage changes. Please note that these transformation options cannot be used if time series contain both negative and positive values. The time series have to be comprised of either negative or positive observations in order for these transformations to work.

It should also be noted that these changes require the existence of both values, i.e. the value of the previous year or period and that of the current one, otherwise the resulting value will be a "null" value. This is often the case when calculating the year-to-year or period-to-period (percentage) changes for data reported on a business frequency, as the same date of the previous year might have fallen on a weekend or a bank holiday.

You can also control the way in which missing values are treated. This is done with the "Ignore missing values" option, available on the My Settings page. The option is set to true by default (the corresponding checkbox is marked) and instructs the SDW to ignore missing values and, accordingly, drop them from the calculation.

Common Description

Also appearing on the Data Chart page is the Common Description from the Data Selection page, which displays all common filter criteria currently applying to your data selection.

Chart area

All of your selected series appear on a single line chart, each demarcated in a different colour. Period labels are displayed on the x-axis and observation value scales on the y-axis. Colour-coded time series titles identifying each series appear directly beneath the chart. Source information is provided for each of the displayed series. To identify the data provider for a selected series, check the reference note after the series title. A list of corresponding data providers (source) appears at the very bottom of the Data Chart page.

Please note that owing to a restriction on the amount of data that can be displayed, only a limited number of observations can be taken into account in the data chart display. If the maximum number of observations is exceeded, older observations will not be displayed on the charts. In order to access all observations, the export to Excel, CSV or XML options need to be used.

To generate a printer-friendly version of the data chart, use the Print button appearing at the top of the Data Chart page

On a Data Chart page, the relevant button inside the "data functions toolbar" is highlighted in blue:

Click on a button from the toolbar to view the Data Selection, Data Table or Explanation page, to apply Advanced Filter criteria, or to Export or save (Add to My Data) the time series of your choice.

VIEWING REPORTS Return to help contents

To view reports based on data contained in the SDW, click on the Reports item in the navigation menu on the left-hand side. Select a publication type from the menu. The selected publication will expand to reveal a list of available reports, and/or further navigation subcategories, which can be expanded to display associated reports.

A navigation item preceded by a plus sign ( + ) indicates that the item contains further sub-items and can be expanded. A navigation item preceded by a minus sign ( - ) indicates that you are currently browsing within that item. The most recently selected item is highlighted in blue. There are two types of leaf node page available within the navigation menu "Reports'": 'Data' and "Latest". The Data type has identical properties, like all leaf node pages within the hierarchy of the Economic Concept. Click on a Data leaf node to view all series used within a chosen data table. Depending on the number of series attached, this leads to a Data Selection or a Data Table page. The Latest leaf node is designated with a PDF icon and displays data tables in PDF format. Reports are generated on the basis of the latest data available in the SDW. Some publications also include explanatory, general and technical notes.

To create your own reports use the My Reports functionality.

EXPORTING DATA Return to help contents

You can export data for all of your selected series (with a maximum of 50 time series) into the following external software programs:

Select Export Type
  • Microsoft Excel
  • CSV (Comma Separated Values)
  • XML (SDMX-ML)
  • XML (SDMX-QUERY)

To export data, use the following button appearing in the "data functions toolbar" at the top of the page:

export

Select an export type from the export type options available. Click on the Export button to export your selected series to your chosen software program.

Regular data download       Return to help contents

The Quick View offers an additional export functionality, which can be used to automate regular data download. Below are the steps to follow in order to establish the links:

1) find the key of the series you want to download. It is always displayed on a Quick View page, in the second line of "Series Level Information" section, and on a Data Selection page next to the series’ title. For example the series key of US dollar/euro exchange rate is:

SERIES_KEY=EXR.D.USD.EUR.SP00.A

2) choose the format of the file which you would like to get the data in

type=
csv Comma Separated
sdmx SDMX-ML compact data format

3) create an "export URL" i.e. combine the base URL of the quick view export (http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu/quickviewexport.do?) with the parameters set in steps 1) and 2), use "&" between the parameters. For example:

http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu/quickviewexport.do?SERIES_KEY=EXR.D.USD.EUR.SP00.A&type=csv

Advanced options

1) You can download multiple series with the same request, by adding more series keys. For example:

http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu/quickviewexport.do?SERIES_KEY=EXR.D.USD.EUR.SP00.A&SERIES_KEY=EXR.D.JPY.EUR.SP00.A&type=csv

2) You can specify a date range restriction by setting "start" and/or "end" parameters. For example:

http://sdw.ecb.europa.eu/quickviewexport.do?SERIES_KEY=EXR.D.USD.EUR.SP00.A&SERIES_KEY=EXR.D.JPY.EUR.SP00.A&type=csv&start=01-01-2008&end=01-03-2008

MY SETTINGS Return to help contents

The My Settings page provides the possibility of customising the appearance of data displayed in the Data Table, Data Chart or Quick View pages and the number of decimal places available in the data exported in Excel, CSV or XML formats. It can be accessed at any time by clicking on My Settings links in the service navigation menu located at the top of the page.

Please be aware that all of the data that you view or export from the moment when changes were made will be affected by these settings. To see the data with your new settings you need to refresh/reload the current page.

Setting Display Options       Return to help contents

Display Data by Frequency

By default, data presented on the Data Table page are grouped together and displayed separately by frequency. The alternative presentation mode displays all selected series, regardless of frequency, on a single page (this, for example, leads to gaps in the presentation of quarterly data that are displayed next to monthly data). To change your frequency display preference, check/uncheck the Display Data by Frequency checkbox, click on the "Apply Settings" button and refresh/reload your current page.

Highlight non-normal values

When displaying series on a Data Table page you can instruct SDW to highlight all observation values which are not classified as standard observations (e.g. estimations). To activate/deactivate this option, check/uncheck the "Highlight non-normal values" checkbox, click on the "Apply Settings" button and refresh/reload your current page. In order to display the status assigned to each observation you should activate the Display Observation Details option, also available on the My Settings page.

Display Observation Details

To display observation details - that is, observation-level attribute such as the observation status - on the Data Table page, check the Display Observation Details checkbox, click on the "Apply Settings" button and refresh/reload your current page. A legend for observation details will be provided in the Data Table. To hide observation details, click on the "Reset Settings" button or uncheck the corresponding box and refresh/reload your current page.

Show codes in filters

This option affects filter boxes displayed on Data Selection and Advanced Filter pages. By default, the boxes display only descriptions of available items and are ordered alphabetically. By activating this option you can change the display and add respective codes next to the description. The list will be ordered alphanumerically by code value.

Observation Decimal Places

To change the default number of decimal places for time series observations (according to the decimals attribute of the time series), select the desired number of decimal places from the dropdown menu, click on the "Apply Settings" button and refresh/reload your current page. To return to the default number of decimal places, click on the "Reset Settings" button or select "Default" from the dropdown list and click on "Apply Settings". To view the data with new settings, refresh/reload your current page

Ignore missing values in frequency transformations

When using SDW frequency conversion functions, you can control the way in which missing values are treated. The "Ignore missing values" option is by default set to true (i.e. the corresponding checkbox is marked) and instructs the SDW to ignore missing values and, accordingly, drop them from the calculation. For example, when dealing with daily exchange rates you will notice that the daily series does not have any values for Saturdays and Sundays (exchange rates are calculated only during working days!); in other words, it has some missing values. If you instruct the SDW to ignore them, you will, when converting the daily series into, for example, monthly series, obtain a time series showing an average exchange rate for each month. (Note that you will also obtain a value for the current month which is still incomplete, unless you are using the convert function on the very last day of the month!). If you instruct the SDW not to ignore missing values (i.e. uncheck the corresponding checkbox), then, whenever a missing value appears within a specified period, the SDW will not calculate any value for that period. In such a case, the exchange rate example described above will yield only empty series. However, such settings can be useful in the event of converting, for example, a monthly series with observations available up to August 2006 into quarterly series when you do not want a value for the third quarter of 2006 to be calculated on account of the unavailability of data for September 2006.

STORING AND MANAGING DATA AND REPORTS Return to help contents

The SDW allows you to store your data selections on a long-term basis. The following “storage containers” are available:

My Reports Compile, store and manage selected Reports pages for future use. Your selected pages are stored as named My Reports groups. MyReports groups are private.
My Data Groups Compile, store and manage selected data for future use. Your selected data are stored as named data groups. Access to all My Data functions requires you to log in to your SDW account.
It is also possible to subscribe to a Notification Service to receive an e-mail each time the data are updated.

Compiling, Storing and Managing My Reports      Return to help contents

The My Reports function can be accessed at any time by clicking on the My Reports option from the left-hand navigation menu. My reports enable you to create your own baskets of predefined reports from the Reports part of the SDW. Check the Viewing Reports part of this help to learn more about how to view reports.

Within the content of the My Reports page you will find a link to Manage My Reports, the page which enables managing all Report Groups created by you. To view a Report Group, click on the "Browse" button, to edit it click on "Edit" button and to delete it from the MyReports, click on the "Delete" button.

To add a new batch of selected pages to My Reports you have to choose an existing report or group of reports in the Reports section of the SDW. Click on the "Add to My Reports" button. You will then be asked to either add your chosen page(s) to an existing Reports group that you have created previously, or to specify a name for a new group.

To store your reports selection in a new reports group, enter a name for the new report group and click on the "New Group" button. To add your selection to an existing reports group, select the desired group and click on the "Add to Group" button. Your selection will be added to the reports already present in the reports group. To replace the contents of an existing reports group with your new selection, select the desired reports group and click on the "Replace Group" button. The existing pages will be permanently deleted from the reports group and replaced with your new selection.

Compiling, Storing and Managing Data Using My Data      Return to help contents

The My Data Groups function can be accessed at any time by clicking on the My Data Groups option from the left-hand navigation menu. If you have not logged in to your SDW account, you will be redirected to the login page.

Within the content of the My Data Groups page you will find a link to Manage Data Groups, the page which displays all data groups created by you. Each group is identified with its assigned name and the date/time the group was last updated. To view a data group, click on the "Browse Data" button. If the selected group contains fewer than 25 time series, you will be directed to the Data Table page. If the group contains more than 25 time series, the data will appear on the Data Selection page. These pages are no different from those accessible through the SDW Browse and Search functions, and may be used to modify/filter data selections as well as view and export data and their explanations (metadata).

To delete a data group from the Manage Data Groups page, click on the "Delete Group" button. Your group will be permanently deleted.

There is no explicit function to duplicate existing groups. However, this is easily performed by selecting a data group and adding it as a new or existing group in My Data through the Data Selection page.

To add a new batch of selected time series to My Data, click on the "Add to My Data" button on the "data functions toolbar". If you are not logged in to your SDW account, you will be asked to log in using your user name and password. You will then be asked to either select an existing data group that you have created previously, or to specify a name for a new data group.

To store your data selection in a new data group, enter a name for the group and click on the “New Group” button. To add your data selection to an existing data group, select the desired group and click on the “Add to Group” button. Your data selection will be added to the data already present in the group. To replace the contents of an existing data group with your data selection, select the desired group and click on the “Replace Group” button. The existing data will be permanently deleted from the group and replaced with your data selection.

In each case, the Manage Data Groups page displaying all data groups created by you, will appear.

Notification Service      Return to help contents

This functionality is available on My Data Groups page and applies to private data groups only.

E-mail notification

You can subscribe to this service after creating at least one data group.
To activate the service click on "Edit" button on Manage Data Groups page and set "E-mail Notification Event" to "Time series in data group updated". You will then receive an e-mail each time a time series within your group is updated. The e-mail will contain a link to a "delta file" which will show only the latest data. There are three types of "delta files" available: CSV, XML or SDW page. The latter will lead you to your data group page where the newest observations will be marked with a special icon.
The other two types of "delta files" will lead you directly to a CSV or XML file with the data. Note that due to limitation of export functions (max. 50 series) notification e-mails for data groups containing more than 50 series will always lead to the SDW Data Selection page.
To unsubscribe from the service, go to Manage Data Groups page, click on "Edit" and set "E-mail Notification Event" to "None".

HTTP notification

To activate the service click on "Edit" button on Manage Data Groups page and set "HTTP Notification Event" to "Time series in data group updated", provide a valid URL without parameters in "Notification URL" and click on "Save". After saving the URL provided will be tested and should return an HTTP response with the string "SDW" in order to be validated and notifications activated.
The provided URL will then receive an http get request each time a time series within your group is updated and the data group id will be passed as a parameter.
To unsubscribe from the service, go to Manage Data Groups page, click on "Edit" and set "HTTP Notification Event" to "None".

LOGIN Return to help contents

The purpose of registering is to allow you to create and save your private data groups (My Data Groups). You do not have to insert anything more than a valid e-mail address and a password. The password must contain a minimum of six characters.

New Users

On initial registration, you must supply an e-mail address and a password. The e-mail address must be valid, because you will be sent an "activation" e-mail. This contains a link which you must click on if you wish to activate your registration. If you attempt to use the SDW system without activating the account, you will be sent a further activation e-mail.

Forgotten Your Password?

If you have forgotten your password, click on the "Forgotten your password? Click here" link on the login page. Your password will then be automatically reset and you will be sent an e-mail containing the new password, together with a "confirmation" link. You should then click on the link and enter the auto-generated password where indicated. Thereafter you will be required to change the password (i.e. to something easier to remember).

CURRENCY CONVERTER Return to help contents

The Currency Converter application gives the users the possibility of converting an amount from one currency to another. It can be accessed at any time by clicking on the Currency Converter link in the service navigation menu located at the top of the page.

The coverage includes the daily ECB reference bilateral exchange rates accessible under Exchange Rates (http://sdw.ecb.testa.eu/browse.do?node=2018779), which are updated every day around 2:30 pm (C.E.T).

THE SITE DIRECTORY Return to help contents

The Site Directory displays a list of all pages available from the SDW navigation menu on the left-hand side. The first-level navigation items are displayed at the top. Click on one of the links to be directed to the relevant part of the Site Directory, where more details are provided. As each item within the Site Directory is a hyperlink, clicking on an item will lead you to a relevant node (page) of the SDW.

The Site Directory page also offers a search functionality. You can look for navigation items containing a specific expression as part of their description. To perform such a search, enter your criteria into a text-box located in the top right-hand corner of the page and press the "Highlight words" button. All matches will be highlighted in yellow. Please scroll down the page to check all results.

THE GLOSSARY Return to help contents
The Glossary contains a definition of key terminology used within the context of the SDW. The Glossary can be found on the ECB's internet pages and will launch within a separate browser window.
SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS Return to help contents

In order to be able to enjoy the full functionality of the SDW portal, you will need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser; otherwise, you may experience the following difficulties:

  • context-sensitive help pages will not be available, i.e. you will not be able to access the pages marked with the help icons inside the SDW. The Help function will be accessible only by clicking upon the Help link at the top of the navigation menu.
  • Both the Data Selection and Advanced Filters pages will not be reloaded automatically upon each filter change. This may result in filter settings with no corresponding data.
  • You will not be able to manage your private data groups on the My Data Groups page.
  • It will not be possible to view online Reports.
CONTACT US Return to help contents
If the SDW help pages do not contain the information you require, or if you have any general comments or feedback regarding the SDW, please contact us.