SDMX standard for data and metadata exchange, basic course


SDMX Standard for Data and Metadata Exchange: Basics Course

Course Leader


Target Group

Statisticians and IT professionals working in a statistical domain without SDMX knowledge.

Entry Qualifications

  • Sound command of English. Participants should be able to make short interventions and to actively participate in discussions
  • Experience in the collection, reporting, exchange or dissemination of data or metadata in one or more statistical subject matter areas.


To enable participants to understand the scope, architecture, and features of SDMX, in particular those features that support more efficient processes for reporting, exchanging and disseminating statistical data and metadata, so that they can:

  • Assess how to take advantage of SDMX in their day-to-day work;
  • Understand what a DSD and MSD are and how they reflect requirements for data and metadata exchange;
  • Work together (statisticians and IT specialists) in the organization in planning for SDMX in their domain;
  • Understand the relationship between SDMX and the process of the production of statistics;
  • Understand the different roles of the organizations in the collection and production of statistics and the relationship with SDMX;
  • Understand (in broad terms) the different tools that Eurostat can provide, and the architecture that can be developed.
  • Understand that SDMX enables automated validation services.


The training session is aimed at people who are or will be in charge of managing SDMX-based transmission and dissemination of data and metadata, possibly using existing tools. For this reason, the course is also recommended as an introduction to SDMX for people who intend to follow the advanced course "SDMX for IT developers" at a later stage.

It is important to understand that the course will start with the theory of SDMX and then move to practical exercises.

The broad contents are:

  • The origin and purpose of SDMX: what problems is it trying to solve? What opportunities is it trying to take advantage of? The historical background and context of SDM. The importance of standardisation;
  • An overview of SDMX: an overview of the SDMX components (the SDMX Information Model, the Content-Oriented Guidelines and theIT architecture for the data and metadata exchange);
  • An overview of the SDMX implementation process: who is involved in what stages, facing what kinds of challenges? The SDMX maintenance process (maintenance agreements);
  • Details on main SDMX objects: concept and concept scheme, code lists, data structure definition, data sets, metadata structure definitions (using the European Statistics Metadata Structure or the ESS standard for quality reports);
  • An overview of the different problems / issues that SDMX can help address throughout the statistical production process;
  • An overview of the SDMX architecture and IT tools: the SDMX registries (European and global), the SDMX converter, the SDMX reference infrastructure and the SDMX Census Hub;
  • Details on how SDMX data can be consumed via standard web services.
  • SDMX: next steps and current developments. An overview of the strategic lines of development for SDMX from the sponsors as a whole and within Eurostat.

Expected Outcome

At the end of the course the participants should be able to:

  • Discuss with their management, colleagues and implementation staff, the role of SDMX and related technologies, tools, and standards in the work of their statistical unit or statistical office;
  • Understand better the responsibilities and activities required in order to introduce SDMX into the working environment of a statistical business unit;
  • Assist in the preparation of Data and Metadata Structure Definitions;
  • Identify the available Eurostat tools to assist the participant implementing SDMX.

Training Methods

Training will be based on a series of presentations that are reinforced with practical examples.

The course trainers will ensure that the participants are comfortable with the exercises by monitoring the progress of the trainees and assisting where required.

At the end of the course there will be an open session where any topic can be discussed in more detail. Often these topics arise from questions asked during the course.


Required Reading


Suggested Reading

SDMX InfoSpace pages on 'SDMX explained':


Required Preparation



Staff members of Eurostat units B5 and A3


Practical Information





Application  via National Contact Point


3 days



Deadline: 19.01.2021