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Box 18.1

Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange   

1.The Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) is an international cooperative initiative aimed at developing standards and employing more efficient processes for the exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata among international organizations and their member countries.

2. The rationale of SDMX is the standardization of statistical data and metadata access and exchange. With the ever increasing ease of use of the Internet, the electronic exchange and sharing of data are becoming easier, more frequent and important. This heightens the need for the development of a set of common standards for the exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata, and for making processes more efficient. As statistical data exchange takes place continuously, the gains to be realized from adopting common standards are considerable, for both data providers and users.

3. The objective is to establish a set of commonly recognized standards, adhered to by all players, making it possible not only to have easy access to statistical data, wherever those data may be, but also to metadata that make the statistics more meaningful and usable. The standards are envisaged to help national organizations fulfil their responsibilities towards users and partners, including international organizations, more efficiently. Among     other things, they are seen as facilitating the use of Internet-accessible databases that enable the retrieval of data as soon as they are released.     Several quality dimensions can also be improved through the use of SDMX standards, such as timeliness, accessibility, interpretability, coherence and cost effectiveness.



Next: C. Indicative lists of metadata items


[2] See SDMX Content-Oriented Guidelines (2009) for details.

[3] Guidelines on Integrated Economic Statistics, p. 40.

[4] The important role in this respect was played by the ECE publication Terminology on Statistical Metadata, Conference of European Statisticians Statistical Standards and Studies, No. 53, (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.00.II.E.21).

[5] See chapter 21 for more information on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in the statistical process.

[6] Bank for International Settlements, Monetary and Economic Development,Guidelines for Reporting the BIS International Banking Statistics (2013), para. 5.123.

[7] Ibid.