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Delivery formats for the submission of statistical reports

Basic data models

From November 2015, the SNB will begin introducing a new data model to allow for subject-specific structuring of data. This change will improve access to data for internal and external users and create data-processing synergies.

The SNB plans to transfer all surveys to the new format in a gradual process. In the interim period, both the current data model (coordinates-based) and the new data model (subject-specific) will be used. Please note that data for a given survey must be reported according to the data model specified, and there is no choice with respect to the format. When the time comes, reporting institutions will be informed in writing that a survey is being transferred to the subject-specific data model.

The coordinates-based data model

The coordinates-based model is based on forms, rows and columns. The keys used for this reflect a figure’s position in a given form.

For instance, in the comprehensive monthly balance sheet, the survey item ‘Assets, Liquid assets, Domestic, CHF’ is located in form M011, row 01, column 01. It is assigned the key M011(Z01,K01); in XML format it is assigned <x/> and <y/>.

The delivery formats Excel and XML are set up to be able to support these keys.

The list of surveys using the coordinates-based data model may be found here.

Subject-specific data model

The subject-specific data model depicts the content of a survey in a hierarchical structure, using codes combined to form a key as its structural elements.

For instance, Balance sheet, Assets, Liquid assets, Domestic, CHF: In the subject-specific data model, the item in the example above is identified using the key BIL.AKT.FMI{I,CHF}. Each part of the code is given a title in order to make clear which item it refers to: BIL=Balance sheet, AKT=Assets, FMI=Liquid assets, I=Domestic, CHF=Swiss francs.

The delivery formats Excel and XML, which support subject-specific keys, are therefore different from the formats in the coordinates-based surveys.

The list of surveys using the subject-specific data model may be found here.

Excel delivery formats

The SNB supplies Excel forms for the submission of statistical data. The Excel delivery formats for coordinates-based and subject-specific surveys differ both in their approach and in their actual usage.

Coordinates-based survey documents in Excel format

The SNB provides forms in Excel format (xls 2003 or xlsx 2010) for a number of surveys. The reporting institutions can use them to complete their reports and then submit the Excel files to the SNB for processing.

The Excel files generally contain a delivery note, one or more SNB forms (one form per table) and, in some cases, additional tables containing information or consistency tests. They do not contain any macros.

The tables with the forms are protected so that entries can only be made in designated data entry fields. Entries cannot be made in fields such as totals that are calculated by the system. Some tables may also include consistency tests, which generate errors or warnings when the tests are failed. The total number of errors and warnings on the individual forms is shown on the delivery note.

Please note the following:

  1. You must always send complete Excel files.
  2. The structure and layout of the Excel forms may not be altered. All reporting items must always be allocated to the original Excel coordinates. Consequently, no rows or columns may be added.
  3. The names of the sheet tabs in the Excel files may not be changed.
  4. Table protection may be removed.
  5. Cells with formulas or references to external data sources can lead to problems during processing. The SNB therefore recommends that entries of this kind be avoided when filling in reports.
  6. Entering additional tables for intermediate calculations is permitted and does not affect processing.
  7. It is not advisable to remove the consistency tests included in the forms. If the SNB identifies errors, the reporting institution may be required to submit a corrected report (cf. faulty deliveries / repeat deliveries).
  8. If an unauthorised modification is identified when processing a report, or if errors in the form of formulas or references are identified, the report will be rejected by the SNB.

Subject-specific survey documents in Excel format

The SNB provides Excel forms in the xslx file format for surveys using the subject-specific data model. This requires at least Microsoft Office 2007.  

The row numbers and column names in the forms (alphanumeric) correspond to the Excel coordinates and are purely designed to simplify communications with the SNB in the event of queries. The link between Excel coordinate and data point is dynamic and may therefore change as a result of future adjustments to the Excel form.

For technical reasons, the xlsx forms do not include any calculated items, and consistency tests are filed outside the data entry field, in the form of consistency rules. Moreover, all the consistency rules are compiled in a separate table together with additional information.

The xlsx survey documents are supplied together with an XML schema, which contains the subject-specific keys. The SNB uses the specified XML schema to process the file. Thus, an xlsx file submission to the SNB must include the relevant XML schema. The following documents provide further information on the use of xlsx survey documents:

XML delivery formats

Coordinates-based survey documents in XML format

The SNB provides an XML definition (DTD) for coordinates-based surveys. The definition describes how to prepare statistical reports using XML and submit them to the SNB. It can be used for all coordinates-based surveys. This solution makes sense when reporting institutions use IT tools to process their reporting data.

An XML file may contain reports on different surveys for a given reference date. An XML file contains a report for each form in a survey. The reports contain the version number of the form.

Further information on the XML delivery format can be found in the ZIP file.

Subject-specific survey documents in XML format

In the subject-specific model, a separate XML schema is required for each survey. These XML schemata are supplied by the SNB along with the other survey documents.

Together with the subject-specific keys, the XML schema also contain language-dependent titles to ensure that the keys can be understood in connection with the surveys.

An XML file may contain no more than one report per survey for each reference date. The content of the report is defined by the XML schema, which bears a version number.

In each case, the XML schemata are also embedded in the relevant Excel survey documents. This means that XML reports can also be displayed in Excel, using Excel’s Import function. This may make sense if the contents of an XML file need to be displayed and validated in tabular form. The following documents provide further information on the XML format for subject-specific surveys: