SDMX data modelling

SDMX data modelling

Standardizing SDG data is key for both more flexibility within countries and for efficient data sharing with international organisations. The SDMX standard is a good tool for this, and the project has provided training workshops to countries in how to model their data using this standard.

Through the customization of data structure definitions, it is possible to also use SDMX for national indicators not covered by the global framework, as well as for subnational and other disaggregations. Having all data, for both global and national indicators, modelled in SDMX is advantageous in that it allows for standardization and easier exchange between databases, and makes countries less dependent on a specific solution.

National data modelling and SDMX workshops have been held with the project countries, following which 18 countries have modelled their currently available SDG data to the SDMX standard and shared them with UNSD using this format.

An SDMX data modelling e-learning course for the SDGs, based on the materials and exercises from these workshops will be launched in November 2022. This will be designed for use both by new countries wishing to model and share their SDG data through SDMX, and as a refresher for those with existing experience. SDG SDMX e-learning.

Presentations, exercises and resources used in the SDMX data modelling workshops delivered through the UNSD-FCDO project are available here:


Through the project, UNSD have developed a online tool called SDG Lab, which brings national data and metadata shared by countries together with global data and metadata produced by custodian agencies to facilitate a comparison of the two sets and explain any discrepancies between national and international data. As global and national datasets are matched thanks to the common data model provided by SDMX, the lab is able to offer a side-by-side visual comparison of the global and national metadata for any given indicator to provide explanation for differences between the global and national data. This helps increasing data transparency, improving international comparability and data availability.

The SDG Lab is available to both project and non-project countries. It offers a secure environment in which national users can only view the data and metadata they are responsible for, in addition to the corresponding global information. Representatives of NSOs can register to use SDG Lab by emailing

A training webinar in using SDG Lab is also available for new and existing users