Getting to know the Documentation

The Documentation folder, included in all EA data fulfillments, includes valuable reference documentation.

List of items in the documentation folder

These documents provide details on the creation of the data tables, provide interpretation of variable codes and names and aid in the proper querying and calculation of variables. Some databases include technical information or other reference documents to educate you on the key data sources used, data modelling processes employed, as well as help answer in-depth technical questions.

1 Release Notes

The Release Notes document provides an overview of what the database consists of, how it can be used, and lists sample questions the data can help answer. A highlight box includes the data vintage, base-level geography (the smallest level of geography at which the data are available) and a variable count. With every release of the database, the Release Notes include noteworthy changes or improvements to the data.

Use this document as a high-level description of the database for internal stakeholders and as a quick reminder of the significant descriptors of the database.

Release notes example

2 Technical Document

Certain databases include a Technical Document to provide in-depth information regarding how the data are collected, compiled and modelled.

A General Technical Document opens in new window is provided for databases created using coefficient, K-NN, Fusion+KNN and other modelling frameworks.

Other databases, for example, PRIZM, DemoStats, HouseholdSpend and EVTrends have specific Technical Documents detailing what the database is, the key data sources used, the modelling framework and key universe. These documents answer more technical user questions.

Use the technical document for more in-depth knowledge of the database.

Technical document screenshot

3 Variable Lists

A Variable list is provided for every EA database. The general fields in the variable list include the order, variable code, variable description, and category.

Use this document to:

  • quickly search for variables of interest to see both the variable code and variable name
  • demonstrate to internal stakeholders and other data users the variety of variables available for use within the database

Variable list example

4 Metadata

A Metadata document is provided for every EA database. In addition to the fields included in the Variables List, the Metadata contains fields to aid in loading the data into database systems and fields to ensure proper querying and calculations. The Metadata document is provided in CSV format for ease of use and filtering.

The general fields in the Metadata document include Order, Variable Code, Variable Description, Category, Root Formula, Type, Size and Part. For databases that have nesting variables, Hierarchy and Hierarchy Level fields are included. The Hierarchy Description field displays indentation to represent nesting. For databases with a variety of variable metrics, such as incidence and consumption, field types are also included.

Use this document to:

  • quickly search for variables of interest to see both the variable code and name
  • determine in which database part the variable is listed
  • ensure the order of variables is respected once queries are performed
  • clarify the category and hierarchy of variables to prevent double counting and perform proper calculations
  • determine the root variable to be used in percent and Index calculations
  • identify the type and size of the variables for importing purposes

Metadata example

You can now move on to 3 - Using Metadata Files