Viewing data and associated explanations

You can view data and associated explanations (metadata) for up to 50 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:

metadata 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 Metadata

The Metadata 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 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. In addition, the contact details of the responsible business area can also be found in this section.

The is the lowest level of metadata. Each of your selected series will have an entry under series-level metadata. 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 left-hand corner of each of the two metadata areas:

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

Viewing the Data Table

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 (table)

The Parameters and Transformations section allows you to change the date range of displayed series and apply one of the pre-selected data transformations.

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 the page will refresh the 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.

Screen transformations

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 Metadata 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). Note that in case the collection indicator of a selected series has a value of (V) –“Other” or (U) – “Unknown” no transformation will be performed.

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.

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
U - No transformation since the collection type is unknown
V - No transformation since the collection type is other than the above

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 instructs the SDW to ignore missing values and, accordingly, drop them from the calculation.

Table 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 and is visible right above the table header.

If you have selected time series with different frequencies and have selected 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 dropdown 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 Data Display) 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 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, refreshable export options (Excel refreshable, Excel with Populator or Stata Dynamic) or CSV format need to be used.

To generate a printer-friendly version of the data table, use the Print option from the toolbar menu: Screen print data table

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

Screen data table

Click on a button from the toolbar to view Data table, Data Chart or Metadata, to Export or save (Add to My Data) the time series of your choice.

Viewing the Data Chart

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 (chart)

The Parameters and Transformations section allows you to change the date range of displayed series and apply one of the pre-selected data transformations.

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 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.

Screen transformations

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 Metadata 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). Note that in case the collection indicator of a selected series has a value of (V) –“Other” or (U) – “Unknown” no transformation will be performed.

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
U - No transformation since the collection type is unknown
V - No transformation since the collection type is other than the above

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.

Chart 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 and appears at the very bottom of the Data Chart page. Note that you can hide/show all the series by clicking the "Hide/Show All" element of the chart legend.

Hide/show series

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, refreshable export options (Excel refreshable, Excel with Populator or Stata Dynamic) or CSV format need to be used.

To generate a printer-friendly version of the data table, use the Print option from the toolbar menu: Screen print data table

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

Screen data table

Click on a button from the toolbar to view Data table, Data Chart or Metadata, to Export or save (Add to My Data) the time series of your choice..

Viewing reports

To view reports based on data contained in the SDW, click on the Publications 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 more types of leaf node pages available within the navigation menu Publications: "Data" and "Latest". 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. These pages are generated on the basis of the latest data available in the SDW. Some publications also include explanatory, general and technical notes. See a snapshot below.

Leaf node types

On the top level of most publications, the “full report” option is also available. This allows you to see in one PDF file all pages included in the Latest leaf nodes under that publication. For some publications, the full report functionality can be available at chapter level as well.

Moreover you have the option of going directly to a specific report page. This can be simply done by adding &page=3 to the report URL, in case you want to access the third page of the report. See here an example for the Statistics Bulletin report.

To create your own reports use the My Reports functionality.

Quick View

The series keys displayed on the Data Selection page can offer a more detailed view with a simple click. The displayed list of series show a full description for each series (see the Title column). Click on the link to be redirected to the quickview page where you can view all data and associated explanations (metadata) pertaining to this series/sibling set. The Quick View page opens in a new browser tab and displays the series-level metadata, data table and data chart for the selected time series/sibling.

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, links to the related publications will also be displayed. Note that owing to space constraints some series-level information may not be visible at first. Use the icon show / icon hide to expand/hide specific areas.

Within the Data Table section the series appears in descending order. A key series attribute (observation status) is 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.

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.

Quick Charts

A special feature of the Quickview page. It returns only the chart from the time series. For example for the Overall euro area HICP series this chart is returned.
Overall euro area HICP series

For example, you can easily create an URL from the Quick View page of this time series. Check it out here


When you add &chartOnly=y to the URL of the quickview, like in this, example, it will return the Quick Chart of the series.

Quick Chart functionality

Quick Chart is the functionality of SDW, where SDW returns a chart for a special GET request.

Please use the Quickview action quickview.do with the parameter of chartOnly=y.

The following extra parameters can be used:

  1. avg=y
  2. mrkr=MU11
  3. notxt=y
  4. start=1-1-1999
  5. trans=YPC&submitOptions.y=2
  6. width=800&height=150

Build yourself a Quick Chart in a few seconds

1. Select your time series, and check their Quick View page.

Let's start with the series ICP.M.U2.N.000000.4.ANR

Euro area (changing composition) - HICP - Overall index, Annual rate of change, Eurostat, Neither seasonally nor working day adjusted

Here is a link to the series Quick View page.

2. Create the Quick Chart for the series

Add &chartOnly=y to the URL of the quickview like in this example.

You can also try and already embed the image into an HTML page:

Embeded Quick Chart

3. Hide the automatically generated chart legend if you do not need it

Add &notxt=y this parameter to the URL of the Quick Chart.

Check it out here.

Hide automatically generated chart legend

4. Add vertical marker for the "Start of Stage Three of EMU"

Add parameter mrkr with the value of MU11 to the URL.

See an example here.

Add vertical marker for the "Start of Stage Three of EMU"

Other possible values for the vertical markers: MU12, MU13, M15, EU12, EU15, EU25, EU27.

5. Add to the chart the calculated average from the vertical marker until now

Add `avg=y to the URL.

See an example here.

calculated average from the vertical marker until now

Some other examples for Quick Charts

Multiple series on the Quick Charts

HICP/CPI for Euro Area/Germany/UK/France with date range restriction

HICP/CPI for Euro Area/Germany/UK/France with date range restriction

The image source in the HTML page is here.

In order to display more than one series on the chart, one can add more than one SERIES_KEY parmater to the URL. Here we should also include the start date (as parameter start) in the URL.

Limiting the time range of the time series on the Quick Charts

HICP/CPI for Euro Area with date range restriction (from 1 January 1999)

HICP/CPI for Euro Area with date range restriction (from 1 January 1999)

The image source in the HTML page is here.

In order to change the date range one should also include the start date (as parameter start) in the URL.

Adding one of the built-in SDW transformations to the chart

Euro area 12 (fixed composition) GDP and its year-to-year percentage changes from 1 January 1999

Euro area 12 (fixed composition) GDP and its year-to-year percentage changes from 1 January 1999

The image source in the HTML page is here .

Resizing the Quick Chart

Euro area - HICP - Overall index, Annual rate of change, Eurostat, Neither seasonally or working day adjusted (resized)

The image source in the HTML page is here.

The size of the image should be specified with width and height parameters, which should be positive integers, and less than the size of the charts on SDW's Data Chart page (width=800, height ?).

Quick chart of with 2 vertical markers for the euro introdution and to the MU12 enlagement, and an average since 1 Jan. 1999.

Quick chart of with 2 vertical markers for the euro introdution and to the `MU12` enlagement, and an average since 1 Jan. 1999

Check it out here.


For published series, links to publications and the number of publication tables where the respective series is used are also displayed. Click on “Link to publications” to display the full list of publication tables in which the series appears. By selecting one of the items in the list you are directed to the online publication table (e.g. from the Statistics Bulletin online or the ESRB Risk Dashboard) that includes the associated time series.

The Explanatory Items area displays 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:

  • Explanatory notes (alphabetically)
  • Cube descriptions

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