Contribution of the Statistics Standard SDMX

  • Reinhold Stahl
  • Patricia Staab


SDMX (Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange) is a standard used successfully by the international statistics community. In data exchange, SDMX has replaced numerous individual agreements and enabled the development of so-called data-driven systems.

But the real potential of SDMX lies in its use as a classification system for any—and not only—financial and economic data. Many institutions use SDMX for data collection, data provision and Internet publishing. A real-life example of a mature SDMX solution is the IMF’s (International Monetary Fund’s) “Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus” initiative.

At its core, SDMX is amazingly simple: a data set is modelled by identifying and encoding its defining dimensions, i.e. the axes of its coordinate system. Each individual data point from this data set is then uniquely determined by its coordinates: the SDMX key. By sharing specific dimensions between different topic areas, an SDMX landscape of linked topic areas emerges.


  1. Eurostat (2016) Glossary: Inter-Agency Group on economic and financial statistics (IAG).
  2. IMF (2011) IMF launches new iPad app to access statistical data. Press Release No. 11/345, 22.09.2011. Accessed 20 Feb 2017
  3. IMF (2014a) A data collection strategy: leveraging SDMX standards. In: Paper presented at the 27th Meeting of the IMF Committee on Balance of Payments Statistics Washington, D.C. 27–29 Oct 2014. Accessed 20 Feb 2017
  4. IMF (2014b) Principal Global Indicators (PGI). IMF/FSB Global Conference on the G-20 Data Gaps Initiative. June 25–26, 2014. .Basel, Switzerland. Accessed 20 Feb 2017
  5. SDMX (2016) Official homepage of the international SDMX initiative. Accessed 25 Jan 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhold Stahl
    • 1
  • Patricia Staab
    • 2
  1. 1.DornburgGermany
  2. 2.FrankfurtGermany

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