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X-DIS – XML for Data Interoperability in Statistics

X-DIS focuses on the interoperability of statistics, especially in the domains of the Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEI), and more generally business and financial statistics. The key ideas are that statistical information should be useable outside the context in which it was originally collected, and that statistical data should contain its own description, cross-referenced to standard statistical concepts.

Last update: September 2007



The main objectives of this statistics tool are the following:
  • to improve quality and timeliness of statistics
  • to decrease the reporting burden of enterprises and statistical authorities in Member States
  • to improve accessibility of statistics for business users and citizens.
In brief: the provision, treatment, dissemination and reception of statistics will be simplified.
This project also promotes the exploitation of XML-based formats for the dissemination of statistical data in parallel with the use of XML formats for the sharing of statistical and similar data among enterprises. The aim is to bring XML data standards into widespread use, as they enable simple use and re-use of data among businesses which are both producers and consumers of data.

Technical Functionalities & Approach

The global common approach is to use XML based standards to simplify the use of statistical data.
Opposite to Eurostat’s DSIS (Distributed Statistical Information Services) project under IDA I and IDA II, the focus is on dissemination rather than reception of data, and furthermore on benefits for enterprises and citizens.
The following actions are planned:
  • Implement SDMX (Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange, see standards and develop appropriate tools
  • Develop an SDMX Open Data Interchange (SODI, interoperability of statistical web sites for economic indicators)
  • Set up sectoral networks for exchange of statistical information (initial focus on XBRL)
  • Develop and implement advanced visualisation techniques for statistical data in XML format
  • Make Eurostat’s web site interoperable
  • Develop suitable tools to access large statistical XML datasets
  • Create a statistical Open-Source Software (OSS) repository, using the IDABC OSS repository to collect all tools developed in X-DIS and grant sustainability and re-usage of results

Potential Beneficiaries

  • Benefits for the sector
    Faster publication of key indicators, decreased data processing burden and better harmonisation of metadata and concepts. 
  • Benefits for the national Member States administrations
    Decreased reporting burden, support in using up-to-date internet techniques for dissemination and reporting. 
  • Benefits for citizens / enterprises
    Enterprises, in particular, will benefit from XML-based data content standards, since they are both producers and consumers of statistical data. 
  • Benefits for other entities
    European Central Bank (ECB): Rapid availability of Principle European Economic Indicators (PEEI), data in SDMX (Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange) format for efficient automated treatment.

The role of IDABC

TESTA (Trans European Services for Telematics between Administrations) secure network and eLink will be considered as the preferred network and service for data exchange.
CIRCA (Communication and Information Resource Center Administrator)
is used as a communication tool with expert groups.
European Interoperability Framework and Architecture Guidelines will be respected, as well as Guidelines on the use of Open Source Software.
The project will make use of the IDABC horizontal services: XML repositories, OSS repository. The project will contribute a wider harmonisation of semantics in cross-border exchanges.
The project will make use of the standard tools for statistical data exchange within the European Statistical System which were developed under the IDA-II programme (Electronic Data Flow Management System - EDFMS/ Electronic Dataflow Administration & Management Information System - EDAMIS, Data Collection Tools - STATEL); however, no IDABC budget will be required for running or maintaining them.

Key Data 

Project start date
Project completion date
Project status
IDABC budget
2005-2008    € 3,750,000
Service in charge
Eurostat / unit B3
Responsible action manager
MAQUA Leonhard
Countries involved
All EU member states
Public websites


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