Concepts

Concepts define various elements describing statistical data and their quality. Standard concepts cover structural and reference metadata, which should be used in several statistical domains wherever possible to enhance possibilities of the exchange of data and metadata between organisations. The SDMX definition of a Cross-domain Concept is included in their glossary of concepts.

On this page, we describe most of the concepts that we use in EconData, as the definitions get re-used across dataflows. Under the SDMX standard, statistical data agencies can define and manage their own list of concepts and codelists, but it is also good to use global concepts as far as possible. Thus, below we separate out our descriptions by agency (with the h1 headings), and within each agency, concepts are also organised into Concept Schemes (with the h2 headings). Each concept generally is either constant at the agency level, dataflow level, series level, or observation level, so we order the concepts further with these h3 headings, and order the more important concepts nearer to the top of the lists. The bullet points have the following structure:

  • Name ID Description

EconData

Bank Capital Adequacy Reporting BA

COICOP

QLFS

Statistics South Africa

SARB QB

ASISA

SA Economic Data ECONDATA

SDMX

Cross-domain Concepts

The official source of the SDMX Cross Domain Concept Scheme is presented in XML format or in HTML format. Below, we outline which cross-domain SDMX-agency concepts EconData focuses on, with the more important concepts further towards the top. Please click on this paragraph to expand the lists below.

Global Concepts

  • Statistical data and metadata exchange, SDMX SDMX Technical standard and content-oriented guidelines for the exchange and sharing of statistical information between organisations.
  • SDMX Information Model, SDMX-IM SDMX_IM Conceptual model for defining and describing the classes, attributes, and relationships of the SDMX standard.
  • Global registry GLOBAL_REGISTRY Central and discoverable repository for SDMX structural metadata.
  • Agency scheme AGENCY_SCH Maintained collection of maintenance agencies.
  • Maintenance agency AGENCY Organisation or other expert body responsible for the operational maintenance of commonly used metadata artefacts.
  • DSD for global use DSD_GLOBAL DSD agreed by a number of international organisations for use within their respective constituencies
  • Ownership group OWNER_GRP Set of organisations which collegially endorse the responsibility for the governance of an SDMX Data Structure Definition and its related artefacts.

Agency-level Concepts

  • SDMX Registry SDMX_REG Repository for structural metadata and registered data sources whose interfaces and behaviour comply with the SDMX technical standards.
  • SDMX Technical Specification SDMX_TECH_SPEC Set of standards enabling interoperable implementations within and between systems concerned with the exchange, reporting and dissemination of statistical data and related metadata.
  • Concept scheme CONCEPT_SCH Set of concepts that are used in a data structure definition or metadata structure definition.
  • Concept CONCEPT Unit of thought created by a unique combination of characteristics.
  • Cross-domain concept, CDC CDC Standard concept, covering structural and reference metadata, which should be used in several statistical domains wherever possible to enhance possibilities of the exchange of data and metadata between organisations.
  • Dataflow DATAFLOW Structure which describes, categorises and constrains the allowable content of a data set that providers will supply for different reference periods.
  • Data set DATA_SET Organised collection of data defined by a Data Structure Definition (DSD).
  • Data consumer DATA_CONSUM Entity that uses data.
  • Data provider DATA_PROVIDER Organisation or individual that reports or disseminates data or reference metadata.
  • Data provider scheme DATA_PROV_SCH Maintained collection of data providers.
  • Release policy REL_POLICY Rules for disseminating statistical data to interested parties.
  • Release policy – transparency REL_POL_TRA Statement describing whether and how the release policy is disseminated to the public.
  • Release policy – user access REL_POL_US_AC Policy for release of the data to users, scope of dissemination (e.g. to the public, to selected users), how users are informed that the data are being released, and whether the policy determines the dissemination of statistical data to all users.
  • Release policy – release calendar REL_CAL_POLICY Schedule of statistical release dates.
  • Release policy – release calendar access REL_CAL_ACCESS Description of how the release calendar can be accessed.
  • Metadata repository META_REPO Place where logically organised statistical metadata are stored that allows for querying, editing and managing of metadata.
  • Metadataflow METADATAFLOW Collection of metadata concepts, structure and usage when used to collect or disseminate reference metadata.
  • Metadata set META_SET Organised collection of reference metadata.
  • Data presentation – detailed description DATA_PRES Detailed description of the disseminated data.
  • Code list CODELIST Predefined set of terms from which some statistical coded concepts take their values.
  • Cross-domain code list, CDCL CDCL SDMX code list meeting at least one of the criteria below:1) Potential application across all statistical domains; 2) Code list maintained by the SDMX Statistical Working Group (SWG) on its initiative; 3) Code list recommended as CDCL by the SDMX SWG although they are in principle maintained by third organisations.
  • Hierarchical code list HIERARCHIC_CODE_LIST Organised collection of codes that may be part of many parent/child relationships with other codes in the scheme, as defined by one or more hierarchies of the scheme.
  • Code CODE Language independent set of letters, numbers or symbols that represent a concept whose meaning is described in a natural language.
  • Hub (dissemination architecture) HUB Method of registering, querying, and disseminating data or reference metadata by means of a central, service-based platform (the hub).
  • Dissemination format DISS_FORMAT Media by which statistical data and metadata are disseminated.
  • Dissemination format – other formats DISS_OTHER References to the most important other data dissemination done.
  • Institutional mandate INST_MANDATE Set of rules or other formal set of instructions assigning responsibility as well as the authority to an organisation for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.
  • Institutional mandate – legal acts and other agreements INST_MAN_LA_OA Legal acts or other formal or informal agreements that assign responsibility as well as the authority to an agency for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics.
  • Pull (reporting method) PULL_METHOD Data or reference metadata reporting method that requires the provider to make the information available at an accessible web location.
  • Push (reporting method) PUSH_METHOD Data or reference metadata reporting method that requires the provider to make the information available by means of transfer such as email or other electronic method.
  • Time format TIME_FORMAT Technical format for the representation of time.
  • Classification system CLASS_SYSTEM Arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.
  • Professionalism PROF Standard, skill and ability suitable for producing statistics of good quality.
  • Professionalism – statistical commentary PROF_STAT_COM Elements providing assurances that the statistical entity is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.
  • Professionalism – code of conduct PROF_COND Provisions for assuring the qualifications of staff and allowing staff to perform their functions without intervention motivated by non-statistical objectives.
  • Annotation ANNOTATION Construct that contains user or organisation-specific metadata.
  • Item scheme ITEM_SCH Descriptive information for an arrangement or division of objects into groups based on characteristics which the objects have in common.
  • SDMX-JSON SDMX_JSON JSON format for the dissemination of SDMX-structured data and metadata on the web.
  • SDMX-ML SDMX_ML XML format for the exchange of SDMX-structured data and metadata.
  • Artefact ARTEFACT Abstract concept denoting an element in the SDMX model having specific characteristics which are inherited by other elements.
  • Nameable artefact NAMEABLE_ART Construct that contains structures capable of providing a name and a description to an object.
  • Identifiable artefact IDENTIFIABLE_ART Construct that contains structures capable of providing identity to an object.
  • Versionable artefact VERSIONABLE_ART Construct that contains structures capable of providing a version to an object.
  • Maintainable artefact MAINTAINABLE_ART Construct that contains structures capable of providing a maintenance agency to an object.
  • Annotable artefact ANNOTABLE_ART Construct capable of defining annotations
  • Reporting taxonomy REP_TAXO Scheme which defines the composition structure of a data report where each component can be described by an independent Dataflow Definition or Metadataflow Definition.
  • Organisation unit scheme ORG_UNIT_SCH Collection of organisation units.
  • Fast-track change FAST_TRACK Procedure followed to update at short notice an SDMX artefact, e.g. a code list.
  • Accounting conventions ACC_CONV Practical procedures, standards and other aspects used when compiling data from diverse sources under a common methodological framework.
  • Structure set STRUCT_SET Maintainable collection of Structure Maps that link components together in a source/target relationship where there is a semantic equivalence between the source and the target components.
  • Coding format CODING_FORMAT Specification of the representation for the codes in a code list.

Dataflow-level Concepts

  • Data source DATA_SOURCE Location or service from where data or metadata can be obtained.
  • Category CATEGORY Structural metadata concept that classifies structural metadata objects.
  • Category scheme CATEGORY_SCH Descriptive information for a subdivision of categories into groups based on characteristics, which the objects have in common.
  • Version VERSION Construct that enables a system to distinguish between one state of an object and another where the contents of the object have changed.
  • Data structure definition, DSD DSD Set of structural metadata associated to a data set, which includes information about how concepts are associated with the measures, dimensions, and attributes of a data cube, along with information about the representation of data and related descriptive metadata.
  • Dimension DIMENSION Statistical concept used in combination with other statistical concepts to identify a statistical series or individual observations.
  • Attribute ATTRIBUTE Statistical concept providing qualitative information about a specific statistical object.
  • Statistical unit STAT_UNIT Entity for which information is sought and for which statistics are ultimately compiled.
  • Frequency of dissemination FREQ_DISS Time interval at which the statistics are disseminated over a given time period.
  • Frequency of data collection FREQ_COLL Time interval at which the source data are collected.
  • Data presentation – summary description DATA_DESCR Main characteristics of the data set described in an easily understandable manner, referring to the data and indicators disseminated.
  • Structural metadata STRUCT_META Metadata that identify and describe data and reference metadata.
  • Reference metadata REF_METADATA Metadata describing the contents and the quality of the statistical data.
  • Metadata structure definition, MSD MSD Specification of the allowed content of a metadata set in terms of attributes for which content is to be provided and to which type of object the metadata pertain.
  • Hierarchy HIERARCHY Classification structure arranged in levels of detail from the broadest to the most detailed level. Each level of the classification is defined in terms of the categories at the next lower level of the classification.
  • Compiling agency COMPILING_ORG Organisation collecting and/or elaborating the data being reported.
  • Reporting agency REP_AGENCY Organisation that supplies the data for a given instance of the statistics.
  • Statistical subject-matter domain STAT_SUBJECT_MATTER Statistical activity that has common characteristics with respect to concepts and methodologies for data collection, manipulation and transformation.
  • Source data type SOURCE_TYPE Characteristics and components of the raw statistical data used for compiling statistical aggregates.
  • Sibling group SIBLING_GR Set of time series whose keys differ only in the value taken by the frequency dimension.
  • Metadata update META_UPDATE Date on which the metadata element was created or modified.
  • Metadata update – last posted META_POSTED Date of the latest dissemination of the metadata.
  • Metadata update – last update META_LAST_UPDATE Date of last update of the content of the metadata.
  • Metadata update – last certified META_CERTIFIED Date of the latest certification provided by the domain manager to confirm that the metadata posted are still up-to-date, even if the content has not been amended.
  • Metadata completeness METADATA_COMPLETE Ratio of the number of metadata elements provided to the total number of metadata elements applicable.
  • Embargo time EMBARGO_TIME Exact time at which the data can be made available to the public.
  • Dissemination format – online database ONLINE_DB Information about on-line databases in which the disseminated data can be accessed.
  • Dissemination format – microdata access MICRO_DAT_ACC Information on whether micro-data are also disseminated.
  • Dissemination format – publications PUBLICATIONS Regular or ad-hoc publications in which the data are made available to the public.
  • Dissemination format – news release NEWS_REL Regular or ad-hoc press releases linked to the data.
  • Comment COMMENT Descriptive text which can be attached to data or metadata.
  • Data extraction date DATA_EXTRACT_DATE Date and time that the data are gathered from a data source.
  • Contact CONTACT Individual or organisational contact points for the data or metadata, including information on how to reach the contact points.
  • Contact organisation CONTACT_ORGANISATION Organisation of the contact point(s) for the data or metadata.
  • Contact organisation unit ORGANISATION_UNIT Addressable subdivision of an organisation.
  • Contact person function CONTACT_FUNCT Area of technical responsibility of the contact, such as “methodology”, “database management” or “dissemination”.
  • Contact name CONTACT_NAME Name of the contact points for the data or metadata.
  • Contact email address CONTACT_EMAIL E-mail address of the contact points for the data or metadata.
  • Contact phone number CONTACT_PHONE Telephone number of the contact points for the data or metadata.
  • Contact mail address CONTACT_MAIL Postal address of the contact points for the data or metadata.
  • Number of data table consultations DATATABLE_CONSULT Number of consultations of data tables within a statistical domain for a given time period.
  • Subscription SUBSCRIPT Indication that a person or application is to be notified when a predefined event occurs in an SDMX registry.
  • Timeliness TIMELINESS Length of time between data availability and the event or phenomenon they describe
  • Timeliness – source data TIME_SOURCE Time between the end of a reference period and actual receipt of the data by the compiling agency.
  • Time lag – first results TIMELAG_FIRST Number of days (or weeks or months) from the last day of the reference period to the day of publication of first results.
  • Time lag – final results TIMELAG_FINAL Number of days (or weeks or months) from the last day of the reference period to the day of publication of complete and final results.
  • Punctuality PUNCTUALITY Time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered.
  • Documentation on methodology DOC_METHOD Descriptive text and references to methodological documents available.
  • Professionalism – methodology PROF_METH Elements providing assurances that the choices of sources and statistical techniques as well as decisions about dissemination are informed solely by statistical considerations.
  • Facet FACET Format specification of a component’s content when reported in a data or metadata set.
  • Relevance RELEVANCE Degree to which statistical information meets the real or perceived needs of clients.
  • Relevance – user needs USER_NEEDS Description of requirements with respect to the statistical output.
  • Relevance – user satisfaction USER_SAT Description of how well the disseminated statistics meet the expressed user needs.
  • Relevance – completeness COMPLETENESS Extent to which all statistics that are needed are available.
  • Relevance – data completeness rate COMPLETENESS_RATE Ratio of the number of data cells provided to the number of data cells required or relevant. The ratio is computed for a chosen dataset and a given period.
  • Relevance – data completeness rate (for data users) COMPLETENESS_RATE_U Ratio of the number of data cells provided to the number of data cells required or relevant. The ratio is computed for a chosen dataset and a given period.
  • Relevance – data completeness rate (for data producers) COMPLETENESS_RATE_P Ratio of the number of data cells provided to the number of data cells required or relevant. The ratio is computed for a chosen dataset and a given period.
  • Data validation DATA_VALIDATION Process of monitoring the results of data compilation and ensuring the quality of the statistical results.
  • Validation and transformation language, VTL VTL Language used by statisticians to express logical validation rules and transformations on data, whether described as a dimensional table or as unit-record data.
  • Structural validation STRUCT_VALIDATION Process to determine the validity of data and reference metadata using structural metadata.
  • Quality management – quality documentation QUALITY_DOC Documentation on procedures applied for quality management and quality assessment.
  • Quality management – quality assurance QUALITY_ASSURE Guidelines focusing on quality in general and dealing with quality of statistical programmes, including measures for ensuring the efficient use of resources.
  • Quality management – quality assessment QUALITY_ASSMNT Overall evaluation of data quality, based on standard quality criteria.
  • Data revision – studies REV_STUDY Information about data revision studies and analyses.
  • Data revision DATA_REV Change in a value of a statistic released to the public.
  • Data revision – policy REV_POLICY Policy aimed at ensuring the transparency of disseminated data, whereby preliminary data are compiled that are later revised.
  • Data revision – practice REV_PRACTICE Information on the data revision practice.
  • Constraint CONSTRAINT Specification of a subset of the possible content of data or metadata that can be derived from the code lists used in a data or metadata structure.
  • Reporting category REP_CATEGORY Component of a reporting taxonomy that gives structure to a report and links to data and metadata.
  • Attribute relationship ATTRIBUTE_REL Specification of the type of artefact to which a data attribute can be attached in a data set.
  • Usage status USAGE_STATUS Indication of the dependency of the presence of a data or metadata attribute when reported in a Data or Metadata Set.
  • Coherence COHERENCE Adequacy of statistics to be reliably combined in different ways and for various uses.
  • Coherence – sub-annual and annual statistics COHER_FREQSTAT Extent to which statistics of different frequencies are reconcilable.
  • Coherence – internal COHER_INTERNAL Extent to which statistics are consistent within a given data set.
  • Coherence – National Accounts COHER_NATACCOUNTS Extent to which statistics are reconcilable with National Accounts.
  • Number of metadata consultations METADATA_CONSULT Number of metadata file consultations within a statistical domain for a given time period.
  • Accuracy – overall ACCURACY_OVERALL Assessment of accuracy, linked to a certain data set or domain, which is summarising the various components into one single measure.
  • Statistical concepts and definitions STAT_CONC_DEF Description of the statistical domain under measure as well as the main variables provided.
  • Confidentiality CONF Property of data indicating whether they are subject to dissemination restrictions.
  • Confidentiality – data treatment CONF_DATA_TR Rules applied for treating the data set to ensure that private information from individual units cannot be accessed and to prevent unauthorised disclosure.
  • Confidentiality – redistribution authorisation policy CONF_REDIST Secondary recipient(s) to whom the sender allows the primary recipient to forward restricted data.
  • Group key GROUP_KEY Set of key values that comprise a partial key.
  • Member selection MEMBER_SEL Set of permissible values for one component of a data or metadata structure.
  • Sector coverage COVERAGE_SECTOR Main economic or other sectors covered by the statistics.
  • Documentation on methodology – advance notice ADV_NOTICE Policy on notifying the public of changes in methodology, indicating whether the public is notified before a methodological change affects disseminated data and, if so, how long before.
  • Over-coverage rate OVERCOVERAGE_RATE Proportion of units accessible via the frame that do not belong to the target population (are out-of-scope).
  • Coverage error COVERAGE_ERR Error caused by a failure to cover adequately all components of the population being studied, which results in differences between the target population and the sampling frame.
  • Proportion of common units COMMON_UNIT_SHARE Proportion of units covered by both the survey and the administrative sources in relation to the total number of units in the survey.
  • Local DSD DSD_LOCAL DSD developed for the specific needs of one organisation only.
  • Cost and burden COST_BURDEN Cost associated with the collection and production of a statistical product, as well as the burden imposed on respondents.
  • Cost and burden – resources COST_BURDEN_RES Staff, facilities, computing resources, and financing to undertake statistical production.
  • Cost and burden – efficiency management COST_BURDEN_EFF Cost-benefit analysis, effectiveness of execution of medium term statistical programmes, and ensuring efficient use of resources.
  • Data collection method COLL_METHOD Method applied for gathering data for official statistics.

Series-level Concepts

  • Level LEVEL Identifiable position to which codes in a scheme of codes are related.
  • Title TITLE Textual label used as identification of a statistical object.
  • Series key SERIES_KEY Cross product of values of dimensions, where either the cross product or the cross product combined with a time value, identifies uniquely an observation.
  • Group key GROUP_KEY Set of key values that comprise a partial key.
  • Frequency FREQ Time interval at which observations occur over a given time period.
  • Unit of measure UNIT_MEASURE Unit in which the data values are expressed.
  • Measure MEASURE Statistical concept for which data are provided in a data set.
  • Unit multiplier UNIT_MULT Exponent in base 10 specified so that multiplying the observation numeric values by 10^UNIT_MULT gives a value expressed in the unit of measure.
  • Representation REPRESENT Allowable value or format for component or concept when reported.
  • Seasonal adjustment SEASONAL_ADJUST Statistical technique used to remove the effects of seasonal and calendar influences operating on a data series.
  • Time transformation TRANSFORMATION Time-related operation performed on a time series, solely involving observations of that time series.
  • Time coverage COVERAGE_TIME Reference metadata element specifying the period of time for which data are provided.
  • Age AGE Length of time that an entity has lived or existed.
  • Sex SEX State of being male or female.
  • Base period BASE_PER Period of time used as the base of an index number, or to which a constant series refers.
  • Statistical indicator INDICATOR Data element that represents statistical data for a specified time, place, and other characteristics, and is corrected for at least one dimension (usually size) to allow for meaningful comparisons.
  • Statistical population STAT_POP Total membership or population or “universe” of a defined class of people, objects or events.
  • Statistical variable VARIABLE Characteristic of a unit being observed that may assume more than one of a set of values to which a numerical measure or a category from a classification can be assigned (e.g. income, age, weight, etc. and “occupation”, “industry”, “disease” etc.).
  • Reference area REF_AREA Country or geographic area to which the measured statistical phenomenon relates.
  • Counterpart reference area COUNTERPART_AREA Secondary area, as opposed to reference area, to which the measured data are in relation.
  • Hierarchical code HIERARCHIC_CODE Code reference that is part of a hierarchy.
  • Price adjustment PRICE_ADJUST Statistical technique used to remove the effects of price influences operating on a data series.
  • Adjustment ADJUSTMENT Set of procedures employed to modify statistical data to enable it to conform to national or international standards or to address data quality differences when compiling specific data sets.
  • Decimals DECIMALS Number of digits of an observation to the right of a decimal point.
  • Education level EDUCATION_LEV Highest level of an educational programme the person has successfully completed.
  • Imputation rate IMPUTATION_RATE Ratio of the number of replaced values to the total number of values for a given variable.
  • Metadata key set META_KEY_SET Set of metadata keys.
  • Currency CURRENCY Monetary denomination of the object being measured.
  • Expenditure according to purpose EXPENDITURE Breakdown of spending by institutional sectors between major expenditure functions.
  • Map MAP Correspondence between two or more objects.
  • Item non-response rate ITEM_NONRESPONSE_RATE Ratio between the in-scope (eligible) units which have not responded to a particular item and the in-scope units that are required to respond to that particular item.
  • Valuation VALUATION Definition of the price per unit, for goods and services flows and asset stocks.
  • Occupation OCCUPATION Job or position held by an individual who performs a set of tasks and duties.
  • Confidentiality – status CONF_STATUS Information about the confidentiality status of the object to which this attribute is attached.
  • Economic activity ACTIVITY Combination of actions that result in the production, distribution and consumption of goods or services.
  • Comparability COMPARABILITY Extent to which differences between statistics can be attributed to differences between the true values of the statistical characteristics.
  • Comparability – over time COMPAR_TIME Extent to which statistics are comparable or reconcilable over time.
  • Comparability – geographical COMPAR_GEO Extent to which statistics are comparable between geographical areas.
  • Data compilation DATA_COMP Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.
  • Accuracy ACCURACY Closeness of computations or estimates to the unknown exact or true values that the statistics were intended to measure.
  • Measurement error MEASUREMENT_ERR Error in reading, calculating or recording a numerical value.
  • Model assumption error MODEL_ASSUMP_ERR Error that occurs due the use of methods, such as calibration, generalised regression estimator, calculation based on full scope or constant scope, benchmarking, seasonal adjustment and other models not included in other accuracy components, in order to calculate statistics or indexes.
  • Processing error PROCESSING_ERR Error in final survey results arising from the faulty implementation of correctly planned implementation methods.
  • Base weight BASE_WEIGHT Weights of a weighting system for an index number computed according to the information relating to the base period instead, for example, of the current period.
  • International string INTERNAT_STRING Construct defining multi-lingual text for the same underlying concept.
  • Asymmetry for mirror flows statistics – coefficient ASYMMETRY_COEFF Difference or absolute difference of inbound and outbound flows between a pair of countries divided by the average of these two values.

Observation-level Concepts

  • Observation value OBS_VALUE Value of a particular variable.
  • Time period TIME_PERIOD Timespan or point in time to which the observation actually refers.
  • Observation status OBS_STATUS Information on the quality of a value or an unusual or missing value.
  • Reference period REF_PERIOD Timespan or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.
  • Time period – collection TIME_PER_COLLECT Dates or periods during which the observations have been collected (such as middle, average or end of period) for the target reference period.
  • Imputation IMPUTATION Procedure for entering a value for a specific data item where the response is missing or unusable.
  • Civil status CIVIL_STATUS Legal, conjugal status of each individual in relation to the marriage laws or customs of the country.
  • Observation pre-break value PRE_BREAK_VALUE Observation, at a time series break period, that was calculated using the old methodology.
  • Unit non-response rate UNIT_NONRESPONSE_RATE Ratio of the number of units with no information or not usable information to the total number of in-scope (eligible) units.
  • Non-response error NONRESPONSE_ERR Error that occurs when the survey fails to get a response to one, or possibly all, of the questions.

API

The API for this page is https://www.econdata.co.za/sdmx-codera/v1/conceptschemes (once you log in to EconData, the cookie will let this URL authenticate).