SDMX is a business choice

What helps make SDMX a business choice?

Firstly, decision makers need to understand background issues. Supply-side issues associated with the exchange of statistical data and metadata include the following: an exchange is complex, resource-intensive and expensive, with data being collected in multiple ways and transmitted in various formats, across various media; multiple organisations can collect similar or the same data; similar concepts can have a different content; the manual nature of data collection can lead to errors and inconsistencies. There are also demand-driven issues: there is an increasing demand for data, faster and more frequent exchanges and growing types of information exchange.

Secondly, decision makers need to know advantages SDMX can offer. Here is some help:

  1. SDMX improves timeliness, with faster access to data and metadata and the possibility for automated exchanges.

  2. SDMX improves accessibility, with bilateral, gateway and data sharing possibilities.

  3. SDMX improves interpretability, with standardised structural metadata (the identifiers and descriptors of data) and reference metadata (the content and quality of data).

  4. SDMX improves coherence, by using standard cross domain-concepts, shared code lists and standard guidelines which are reused across statistical domains and agencies, and can support single figure dissemination.

  5. SDMX can reduce data errors, through automated structural and content validation, agreed structures for transmission, and save time on conversion and mapping, with less manual intervention.

  6. SDMX can reduce the reporting burden on agencies through the use of pre-validated content, common formats, automated publication, and the possible 'pull' of data by collecting agencies.

  7. SDMX can reduce IT development and maintenance costs through the open-source software approach, the absence of licensing costs, a shared toolbox and the improved interoperability between systems and applications.

In short, SDMX responds to a business need, it improves the quality in exchanges, it is an international standard and offers cost-efficiencies.