Statistics Data Warehouse help - Data Structure

Data Structure

The Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW) is a fully metadata driven application based on the Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX) data model. For additional information, please refer to the SDMX documentation.

The SDW provides access to a vast quantity of statistical data and metadata available at the ECB.

Data in the SDW is organised into datasets, such as Balance of Payments (BOP), Balance Sheet Items (BSI) and Exchange rates (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 so-called “Data Structure Definition” used for describing and storing the data is accessible by the users when browsing the data in the SDW on the “Data Selection” page under “DSD”.

For an overview of the data content, please refer to the list of datasets.To learn more about structure of data cubes please check the Self Learning Tutorial: Data Structure Definition.

The Dataset Concept

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 BPM6 Balance of Payments (BP6) dataset is associated with the following sixteen dimensions:

  1. Frequency
  2. Geographic area
  3. Adjustment indicator
  4. Counterpart area
  5. Reference sector
  6. Counterpart sector
  7. Flows and stocks indicator
  8. Accounting entries
  9. International accounts item
  10. Functional category
  11. Instrument and assets classification
  12. Maturity
  13. Unit of measure
  14. Currency denominator
  15. Valuation
  16. Compiliation methodology

The structure of the series keys follows the BOP Data Structure Definition (DSD) maintained by the IMF. Such information is accessible by the users when browsing the data in the SDW. 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 BP6 time series can be represented by the following notation: BP6.M.N.DE.W1.S1.S1.T.N.FA.F.F7.T.EUR._T.T.N,

while the entire BP6 dataset can be described as: BP6.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*, where "*" indicates that there is no value specified for a dimension.

There are a multitude of possible combinations of dimensional constraints. For example: BP6.*.Q.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*

denotes all quarterly BP6 time series;

BP6.*.*.DE.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.* denotes all BP6 time series for Germany;

BP6.*.N.DE.W1.S1.S1.T.N.FA.F.F7.T.EUR._T.T.N denotes all Financial Derivatives and Employee Stock Options that are Neither seasonally nor working day adjusted, from Germany, etc.

BP6.Q.*.DE.*.*.*.*.*.CA.*.*.*.*.*.*.* denotes all quarterly BP6 time series for Germany belonging to current account.

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.

The meaning of the different euro area codes

Data relating to the euro area can refer to either a fixed composition of countries for all periods, or a changing composition. Statistical series referring to a changing composition are based on the composition of the euro area at the time to which the statistics relate:

  • Data prior to 2001 refer to the Euro 11, i.e. the following 11 European Union (EU) Member States: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.
  • Data from 2001 to 2006 refer to the Euro 12, i.e. the Euro 11 plus Greece.
  • Data for 2007 refer to the Euro 13, i.e. the Euro 12 plus Slovenia.
  • Data for 2008 refer to the Euro 15, i.e. the Euro 13 plus Cyprus and Malta.
  • Data for 2009 and 2010 refer to the Euro 16, i.e. the Euro 15 plus Slovakia.
  • Data from 2011 to 2013 refer to the Euro 17, i.e. the Euro 16 plus Estonia.
  • Data as of 2014 refer to the Euro 18, i.e. the Euro 17 plus Latvia.
  • Data as of 2015 refer to the Euro 19, i.e. the Euro 18 plus Lithuania.

Dataset List

The ECB – assisted by the national central banks (NCBs) and other national (statistical and supervisory) authorities of the European Union – develops, collects, compiles and disseminates statistics. The Statistical Data Warehouse is a platform where euro area statistics, including in some cases national breakdowns are made available.

The ECB statistics: a brief overview provides a brief introduction to the topics covered.

Please find below the complete list of datasets available in the ECB's Statistical Data Warehouse. The time series in the datasets can be found in the data nodes of the navigation hierarchy, and can be accessed also via the search feature.

The list contains:

  • Metadata links : these direct you to the available dataset descriptions.
  • Data links : these direct you to the Data Selection pages.
  • Bulk Download : entries using the ECB SDMX 2.1 RESTful web services.

Please see the list available in the SDW Full Content section.

SDW Functions

The SDW comprises a set of functions as described below:

Browse Browse data using a hierarchical navigation system organised either by reference series, economic concept, data providers/datasets or 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. For more options see the Notification Service.
Reports Browse the PDF versions of the ECB’s printed and on-line statistical publications, and access the data behind the publications.
My Reports Compile, store and manage selected PDF pages of different publications as your own Reports.
Currency Converter View foreign exchange rates by using this currency exchange rate calculator for more than 50 foreign currencies.
Contact The point of contact for additional information or help.

The Browse, My Reports 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 navigation hierarchy. Note that this is only necessary for accessing the My Reports and My Data Groups functions.

The SDW functions further allow you to make a Data Selection of particular time series, to display Metadata, Data Table or Data Chart, to Export or save (Add to My Data) the series of your choice.

To choose an action, click on the relevant button from the "data toolbar" available at the top of most of the pages:

Data selection menu

Site Directory

The Site Directory can be accessed via the navigation hierarchy and it 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. The hierarchy can be expanded/collapsed as per your needs. 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 the text box and press the "Highlight words" button. All matches will be highlighted in yellow. Please scroll down the page to check all results. The text box can be reseted by clicking "Clear terms".

Highlight words


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. If accessed through SDW by clicking on the link available in the navigation menu, it will launch within the same browser window.

("Glossary entries")

SDW help © 2015 ECB