Statistical Interactive Database - Help

Help index     Go back

View the help topic you are interested in by clicking on the appropriate link below:

General navigation

Links and 'actions'

Series codes

Explanatory Notes, General Notes and Footnotes

Start and end dates

Settings

Data updates

Excel downloads

HTML downloads

XML downloads

Subscribe to XML download changes

CSV downloads

Symbols and abbreviations

Known limitations

Terms and Conditions

If you require further assistance


General navigation     Go back

The Statistical Interactive Database sits within the Statistics area of the Bank of England's web-site. The Statistical Interactive Database is intended to complement, but not replace, the regular Statistical outputs which are published by Statistics and Regulatory Data Division (SRDD). Data series published in SRDD Statistical releases, the Monetary and Financial Statistics publication ("Bankstats") or elsewhere on the Statistics site, can be searched for, selected and downloaded through the Statistical Interactive Database.

There are a number of ways to navigate around the Statistical Interactive Database, most easily from the links on the left hand side of each page. An outline of the various methods of navigation can be found on the Statistical Interactive Database Main Page. More detailed help is available from various points within the area. Incorporating the more detailed help available from within those pages should assist the users by allowing them to view the help text whilst using the site.

Users can use AtoZ lists, searches or tables (including interest and exchange rates data) to search for / access data series. AtoZ lists and searches return results from which users can select those series which interest them. The tables approach allows users to drill down into a 'hierarchy' of data organised by subject, and select relevant series from within that

Following the selection of series, via any of these methods, users are taken to a selection summary page where they can choose from a number of different download options.


Links and 'actions'     Go back

Links are orange and underlined. Other 'actions', include the search button Search button, the 'Show data' buttons, the Auto and Clear buttons and the 'back' or 'top' arrows. In addition, the tables navigation uses Plus and Minus buttons to expand/collapse sections.

There is breadcrumb trail navigation at the top of each page, which shows the user where they are within the site. The non-dynamic pages featured in breadcrumb trail are links, the dynamic pages e.g. where you have built up a query, can be returned to by using back buttons where available or the back button in your browser.

The left side of most pages contains links to other parts of the Statistical Interactive Database site, as well as a link to the Statistics Main Page. Other parts of the Bank of England site can be accessed via the links in the top and bottom bars.


Series codes     Go back

Each series has an associated series code. The majority of these are seven characters long. They combine a prefix (usually three letters), which contains some information about the type and frequency of the data (for internal use), and a four character code. The latter does not usually contain information about the series i.e. it is randomly assigned. Some codes also contain a suffix of further characters, which indicates a further breakdown of a series by bank groups or countries/regions. The series codes can be searched for either in their entirety or using a combination of three or more characters from the code. Series codes also appear, at series level, when using the tables navigation on this site. Users of Bankstats can find these codes in the publication (prefix usually towards the top left of the page, and four character identifiers near the series titles).


Explanatory Notes, General Notes and Footnotes     Go back

Explanatory Notes provide more information on individual data series and tables of data. When a user selects a series, whether from within tables, following a search, or following use of the AtoZ lists, they have the option of viewing links to Explanatory Notes. These notes, in the form of web pages, cover information on data availability, sources, definitions, links to relevant Bankstats articles and so on. If the user has ticked the option at the series selection stage, markers will appear after each series title on the following (selection summary) page. The markers relate to links shown at the bottom of the selection summary page.

General Notes provide additional information relevant to data series in general, such as: how growth rates are calculated, the treatment of breaks in series, seasonal adjustment and revisions.

Footnotes relate to specific series, or groups of series, and give more detailed information about events affecting the data. These may include details of specific breaks in series. When a user selects a series, whether from within tables, or following a search or use of the AtoZ facility, they have the option of viewing Footnotes. The user can also search within Footnotes using the advanced search option. If they have ticked the Footnotes option at the series selection stage, footnotes will appear, where applicable, under the series titles in the selection summary page. The user can also download Footnotes with the data (except for csv format). The option to do this appears on the selection summary page, and will default to whatever the user chooses at the series selection stage.


Start and end dates     Go back

The series on the Statistical Interactive Database start and end at different points in time. Some series go back as far as the early 1960s; others may have only been introduced very recently, for example, series relating to the euro. All available data can be downloaded for a series by simply taking the default option for dates at the selection summary page. Alternatively, the date range can be narrowed by selecting the 'Date range' radio button and specifying start and/or end dates. If the series that are downloaded differ in length or in frequency, n/a will appear where there are no data for a particular point in time. If the date range specified by the user does not have any data for any of the series selected, a message will tell the user that this is the case.


Settings     Go back

The Statistical Interactive Database is best viewed in 1024 by 768 resolution. The 800 by 600 resolution has been catered for where possible, but some horizontal scrolling may be necessary, especially when using the tables navigation option.


Data updates     Go back

We aim to publish our data at the same time as press releases, Bankstats etc. Daily rates will be updated at 9.30am, no more than two working days after the date to which they relate. The update procedure takes a matter of seconds, but may disrupt any query that is in process at 9.30am. A warning message to this effect will be visible on the site as 9.30am approaches.


Excel downloads     Go back

If you wish to set up an automatic Excel download of specific series for a particular date range, you should use the following url:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?excel97.x=yes

with these parameters appended:

Parameter name Required format Example
Datefrom DD/MON/YYYY (mandatory parameter) 01/Feb/2006
Dateto DD/MON/YYYY or "now" (mandatory parameter) 01/Oct/2007
SeriesCodes Comma separated list of full series codes (mandatory parameter) LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA
UsingCodes "Y" (mandatory parameter) Y
VPD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y
VFD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y

An example of a fully qualified url is:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?excel97.x=yes&Datefrom=01/Feb/2006&Dateto=01/Oct/2007 &SeriesCodes=LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA&UsingCodes=Y&VPD=Y&VFD=N

The "SeriesCodes" parameter supports up to 250 comma separated codes in a single request.

The "VPD=Y" parameter need only be included if provisional data is desired.

The "VFD=Y" parameter should be supplied if you want to see any observation footnotes which have been associated to the selected data observations.

When viewing Excel pages in your web browser, clicking the 'Save As' option from the 'File' menu will bring up the 'Save As' dialog box. The default file format is .html, but to save as .xls (an Excel spreadsheet), select this file format from the 'Save as type' drop-down box. Excel will not allow two spreadsheets with the same filename to be open simultaneously, so you will need to close the original version in the browser window before attempting to open the saved version.

Excel is not capable of displaying more than 65536 rows x 256 columns. To avoid causing errors, the number of series that can be downloaded in Excel has therefore been restricted to 250.


HTML downloads     Go back

If you wish to set up an automatic HTML download of specific series for a particular date range, you should use the following url:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?html.x=yes

with these parameters appended:

Parameter name Required format Example
Datefrom DD/MON/YYYY (mandatory parameter) 01/Feb/2006
Dateto DD/MON/YYYY or "now" (mandatory parameter) 01/Oct/2007
SeriesCodes Comma separated list of full series codes (mandatory parameter) LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA
UsingCodes "Y" (mandatory parameter) Y
VPD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y
VFD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y

An example of a fully qualified url is:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?html.x=yes&Datefrom=01/Feb/2006&Dateto=01/Oct/2007 &SeriesCodes=LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA&UsingCodes=Y&VPD=Y&VFD=N

The "SeriesCodes" parameter supports up to 300 comma separated codes in a single request.

The "VPD=Y" parameter need only be included if provisional data is desired.

The "VFD=Y" parameter should be supplied if you want to see any observation footnotes which have been associated to the selected data observations.


XML downloads     Go back

If you wish to set up an automatic XML feed of specific series for a particular date range, your XML reader should download from the following url:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?CodeVer=new&xml.x=yes

with these parameters appended:

Parameter name Required format Example
Datefrom DD/MON/YYYY (mandatory parameter) 01/Feb/2006
Dateto DD/MON/YYYY or "now" (mandatory parameter) 01/Oct/2007
SeriesCodes Comma separated list of full series codes (mandatory parameter) LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA
VPD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y
VFD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y
VUD "A" or "B" (optional parameter - see below) A
VUDdate DD/MON/YYYY or latest (conditional parameter - see below) 01/Jul/2007
Omit See Alias values below (optional parameter) -A2-B3-D

An example of a fully qualified url is:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?CodeVer=new&xml.x=yes&Datefrom=01/Feb/2006&Dateto=01/Oct/2007 &SeriesCodes=LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA&VPD=Y&VFD=N&VUD=A&VUDdate=01/Aug/2007&Omit=-A2-B3-D

The "SeriesCodes" parameter supports up to 300 comma separated codes in a single request. If you want to list metadata for all series that have been added within a particular date range then enter the keyword "all" for the "SeriesCodes" parameter. This option does not return data observations.

The "VPD=Y" parameter need only be included if provisional data is desired. Only the provisional data value (PROV_VALUE) is returned if an actual data value (OBS_VALUE) also exists for the same series and reporting date combination.

The "VFD=Y" parameter should be supplied if you want to see any observation footnotes which have been associated to the selected data observations.

The "VUD" parameter should be included if you wish to return any updated (new and revised) data observations, for the supplied series codes and reporting date range, which have been applied to the database either from a given "VUDdate" parameter value or since the previous release.

The valid "VUD" values are as follows:

Value Description
A All data observations, between the supplied from and to date range, including any updated (new and revised) data.
B Updated (new and revised) data observations only, between the supplied from and to date range.

The "VUDdate" parameter (if supplied) will retrieve any updated data observations that have been applied to the database since the supplied date. The parameter value can be an historic date (between the 03/Jun/2007 baseline and the previous working day) or the keyword "latest" (if you are just interested in updates since the previous working day). This parameter should be excluded if you only wish to retrieve the specified "VUD" data observations published since the previous release.

The "Omit" parameter allows the suppression of an element and/or its associated attributes from an XML instance.

The valid "Omit" alias values are as follows:

Element Attribute Alias   Description
CUBE  - -A Excludes the series code metadata attribute aliases -A1, -A2 and -A3
 - DESC -A1 Excludes the series description attribute.
 - COUNTRY -A2 Excludes the country attribute.
 - CONCAT -A3 Excludes the concatenated title attribute.
CUBE  - -B Excludes the frequency metadata cube and its attributes (aliases -B1, -B2 and -B3).
 - FREQ_NAME -B1 Excludes the frequency text attribute.
 - FREQ_CODE -B2     Excludes the frequency code attribute.
 - FREQ_ORD -B3 Excludes the frequency order attribute.
SERIES_COM  - -C Excludes the series wide footnote element.
CUBE  - -D Excludes the explanatory note metadata cube and its attributes (SERIES_DEF, DEF_LOC).
CUBE  - -E Excludes the category metadata cube and its attributes (aliases -E1, -E2, -E3 and -E4).
 - CAT_NAME -E1 Excludes the category name.
 - CAT_VAL -E2 Excludes the category value.
 - VAL_DESC -E3 Excludes the category value text.
 - CAT_ORD -E4 Excludes the category value order.
CUBE - -F Excludes the observation metadata cube and its attributes (aliases -F1 and -F2).
 - FIRST_OBS -F1 Excludes the date of the first observation.
 - LAST_OBS -F2 Excludes the date of the last observation.
CUBE  - -G Excludes the observation data cube and its attributes (TIME, PROV_VALUE or OBS_VALUE, OBS_CONF, LAST_REVISED). If supplied, the footnote element (OBS_COM) will also be excluded.
OBS_COM  - -H Excludes the footnote data element and its attribute (OBS_END). If supplied with the view footnote data parameter set to Yes ("VFD=Y") no data observations will be returned.

Within the XML, two namespaces are included to give both automated and human readers details about the structure and meanings of the XML tags. The reference to 'www.gesmes.org', provides details from the European Central Bank about the structure of time series data in XML, whilst the reference to 'agg_series' gives names and descriptions about all the XML tags that may be contained within an XML feed.

If you are using Netscape Navigator, you may find that your browser fails to interpret your download as an XML file, mistaking it for an ASP file instead. To remedy this, select 'Save Page As...' from the 'File' menu. The 'Save As' dialog box should appear. To correctly save your download, select 'Extensible Markup Language' from the 'Save as type' drop-down box and delete the ".asp" file extention from the 'File name' text box.


Subscribe to XML download changes     Go back

To subscribe to notification e-mails detailing changes to the XML output please send your name, organisation and e-mail address to srdd_xml@bankofengland.co.uk

By joining this e-mailing list you are giving consent for the Bank of England to process your information in accordance with current data protection legislation. Statistics and Regulatory Data Division will use your information for the purpose of providing notification of changes to the XML output of the Statistical Interactive Database, and may contact you to seek feedback on XML issues. If you do not wish to be contacted for your feedback please state this clearly in your e-mail. If you wish to be removed from the contact list please e-mail us using the same address, with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject field. Your information will not be disclosed to external third parties. You have the right to ask for a copy of information held about you in our records, for which you may be charged a small fee, and to require us to correct any inaccuracies, by writing to the Data Protection Officer, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.


CSV downloads     Go back

There are two main formats in which CSV can be downloaded:

  • Tabular
  • Columnar

Tabular format provides a similar layout to the Excel and HTML outputs, with the series codes across the top and the reporting dates down the side.

When CSV is interpreted by the import facility of a database such as Access, the individual records are usually read by row. Columnar format provides the natural row / record structure if the data were to be read directly into a series data database table.

In addition, both of these formatting options are available with or without the series titles inserted at the start of the file.

It is possible to download any number of series in CSV format, but if your computer is configured to open CSV files in Excel then attempting to view more than 256 'columns' in this way will cause Excel to display an error. To view these large CSV files, use Notepad.

If you wish to set up an automatic CSV download of specific series for a particular date range, you should use the following url:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?csv.x=yes

with these parameters appended:

Parameter name Required format Example
Datefrom DD/MON/YYYY (mandatory parameter) 01/Feb/2006
Dateto DD/MON/YYYY or "now" (mandatory parameter) 01/Oct/2007
SeriesCodes Comma separated list of full series codes (mandatory parameter) LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA
UsingCodes "Y" (mandatory parameter) Y
CSVF "TT", "TN", "CT" or "CN" (mandatory parameter) TN
VPD "Y" or "N" (optional parameter) Y

An example of a fully qualified url is:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/iadb/fromshowcolumns.asp?csv.x=yes&Datefrom=01/Feb/2006&Dateto=01/Oct/2007 &SeriesCodes=LPMAUZI,LPMAVAA&CSVF=TN&UsingCodes=Y&VPD=Y&VFD=N

The "SeriesCodes" parameter supports up to 300 comma separated codes in a single request.

The "CSVF" format parameter options are "TT" (Tabular with titles), "TN" (Tabular no titles), "CT" (Columnar with titles) or "CN" (Columnar no titles).

The "VPD=Y" parameter need only be included if provisional data is desired.

If you are using Netscape Navigator, you may find that your browser fails to identify your download as a CSV file, mistaking it for an ASP file instead. To remedy this, when you save your download, select 'All Files' from the 'Save as type' drop-down box and delete the ".asp" file extention from the 'File name' text box within the 'Enter name of file to save to...' dialog box.


Symbols and abbreviations     Go back

The following symbols may be encountered in some of the Statistical Interactive Database downloads:

.. Data are not available or are suppressed for reasons of confidentiality. In XML the output will read OBS_VALUE=".." OBS_CONF="Y"
n/a Not applicable for the date specified. This will be particularly evident when downloading series of differing frequencies or time periods. However, XML and CSV downloads do not incorporate n/a.

A full list of the Symbols and Abbreviations used by the Statistics and Regulatory Data Division can be found here.


Known limitations     Go back

Restricted date range defaults for daily series     Go back

Some of the daily series have data that go back as far as 1975. Attempting to download daily series with many others for 'All available dates', particularly in Excel and HTML format, could cause a time-out due to the large number of data values being retrieved and the size and complexity of the spreadsheet being created. This being the case, when more than 5 series including a daily series are required in a single download, the default date range is restricted to the last 5 years only.

It is possible to override this default and reselect an earlier 'From date' or choose the 'All available dates' option, but doing this for many series could cause errors. In the case of this much data being required, downloading in CSV format is quickest.

Data updates filter     Go back

The Data Updates Filter supports the retrieval of new and revised data observations which have been applied to the database since 3rd June 2007 (when the entire system was baselined). For performance reasons, if one or more daily series is selected the 'From' and 'To' date range cannot be more than one year apart. The default From date is set to be one year before the current date.

Ordering of series on the 'Selection Summary' page     Go back

On the search results page, whenever possible, the results are ordered using a score calculated from the occurences of the input terms in the output series.

This score clearly needs to be different for every search, and so cannot reside in the database itself; it is calculated during each individual search query. For this reason, the score and hence the original ordering is lost between the search results page and the selection summary page.

Any attempt to re-create the ordering on the second page would require either rerunning the original query (which would effect efficiency) or passing the ordering in line variables and re-ordering using a sorting algorithm (which would also effect efficiency).

Limited number of selectable series and expandable nodes     Go back

If you get a warning message on the tables or search results page, then it is most likely because you have exceeded the limit on either the number of nodes you can expand (tree only), or the number of series you can select. To remedy the error, either collapse some nodes in the tree or deselect some series.

On the tables page, the state of the tree (that is the state of each node and series checkbox) from one page refresh to the next must be encoded and passed in HTTP line variables. A page refresh occurs every time a button on the tables page is clicked.

Similarly, on the search results page, the state of every checkbox on every possible page of the current search must be encoded.

The set of all HTTP line variables is called the query string, and this has a maximum length of around 2000 characters. This is why it has been necessary to enforce limits on the maximum number of nodes that can be opened and series that can be selected; to avoid overloading the query string and causing an error.

Internet Explorer 5 for Macintosh     Go back

Apple Mac users utilising the tables function (including rates) may find that they need to scroll back down to their previous position in the page after expanding / collapsing a branch. This is due to incompatability between the section of the Statistical Interactive Database code used to retain position on the page and the Internet Explorer browser operating on Apple Mac.


If you require further assistance     Go back

Advice on the data is available via Contact Us. If you require further advice on how to use the Statistical Interactive Database itself, please contact the SRDD Editor.