New File Format for the Dissemination of ABS Time Series, Dec 2002

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December 17, 2002
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
New File Format for the Dissemination of ABS Time Series


In the near future, the ABS will be releasing a new format Time Series dissemination spreadsheet product. It is intended that the new product will progressively replace our existing 'AusStats Time Series Spreadsheets' that are currently provided in WKS format.

The development of the new product has been primarily driven by our Time Series customers' feedback in respect of a number of deficiencies identified in our existing 'AusStats Time Series Spreadsheets', and by the ABS' desire to continuously improve the products and services it provides.

To help ensure that we provide a product that satisfies your wants and needs, we have provided a mechanism for you, our clients, stakeholders and other interested parties to provide comment and feedback on the new prototype BEFORE we finalise its specification and release the new product into the public domain.

The new product will be known as 'AusStats Time Series Files'.

AusStats Time Series Files Discussion Forum

As well as providing a mechanism to provide comment and feedback to the ABS, the 'AusStats Time Series Files Discussion Forum' provides detailed background and other information relating to our new product. A number of prototype sample files are also available from it for download.

The information and file attachments provided in the Forum are available for viewing and download for all users, however, if you wish to provide comment or discuss issues on-line with ABS staff or other users, you must first apply to register with the Forum's 'User Group'. The User Group registration form is also available from the Forum.


Three prototype files are available to download (for free) for your evaluation. These files contain Retail Trade data (Retail Trade, Australia (Cat. No. 8501.0)) and are identified as sample data.

System Requirements
    In order to access and use all of the new functionality provided in the new AusStats Time Series Files, you will need to have Microsoft Excel 97 (or better), or an equivalent spreadsheet product, loaded on to your computer. The new format files can be opened, read and manipulated using Excel 5.0/95 (or equivalent), however, some features will not be available.