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The Data Service Centre (DSC) at Statistics Netherlands: Storing and Exchanging Statistical Data and Metadata

Presenter 1
Harold Kroeze
Statistics Netherlands

The Data Service Centre (DSC) is the central repository for datasets across the entire statistical field of Statistics Netherlands (SN). Its purpose is to archive the datasets as well to enable easy, secure and monitored exchange of data and metadata. The DSC has the following characteristics: - Metadata first, data second. - Datasets are stored as text files (csv or fixed-width) and are described according to a metadata model. - Public access to metadata within SN, data access only after authorisation by data owner. - Service-oriented approach: the backend system uses web services for communication with client tools. - It promotes re-use of variables and definitions. An organisation-wide project ("The treasure chest unlocked") was set up to describe and store the microdata sets that form the basis of our published data. The project also produced a number of tools to manage metadata and data (for example a Metadata editor and a Catalogue). This resulted in a very noticable increase in the volume of metadata and datasets stored at the DSC. Data and metadata can now easily be shared within the organisation, but also with external researchers through our remote access facility.

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