Metadata Deep Dive

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.

Metadata Fields

  • General - The general fields in the Metadata document include.
  • Hierarchy - For databases with nesting variables.
  • Variable Metrics - For databases with a variety of variable metrics.
Metadata Fields
General Hierarchy Variable Metrics
Order Hierarchy VarType
Variable Code Hierarchy Level ConsType
Variable Description    
Root Formula    


Use the Metadata document to:

  • quickly search for variables of interest to identify the variable code, name and database part where 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 for percent and index calculations
  • identify the type and size of variables for importing purposes


Metadata Field Definitions
Name Description Notes
Order numeric order of the variables in the database Ensures that the proper order of the variables is retained to respect the category order and variable hierarchy Use to double-check hierarchy after the database has been queried or when variables are extracted from the original database.
Variable variable code assigned to each variable  
Description full description of the variable code  
Category category the variable nests within  
Root Formula variable code of the base variable used for calculating percentage values  
Hierarchy Level

nesting level of the variable within the category

DataVintageYear the vintage year the variable represents  
Type variable type (ex. V_String, Integer, FixedDecimal, Double)  
Size length of the value  
Part database name where the variable is found Only reported when data are separated into multiple databases.

Additional Metadata Field Definitions (for databases with a variety of variable metrics)
Name Description Example
VarType (Variable Type)




e.g.: number of people or households doing the activity


e.g.: number of times people or households do the activity

ConsType (Consumption Type) Consumption Value e.g.: a variety of consumption values dependent on the variable


If VarType= Incidence, then ConsType is blank

If VarType= Consumption, then ConsType= # of times

You can now move on to 4 - Data File Structure