Introducing EconData

There is an ongoing movement that has seen an increase in the number of sources of online economic data, along with the adoption of (open-source) software engineering tools and practices in economic research.

Two of the driving motivators of this trend are reproducibility and real-time analysis. The first is aided by (collaborative) version control software like Git. The second is the proliferation of public data repositories and APIs, such as those provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

While the uptake of these tools and methods has been enthusiastic in the South African research community, the curation of South African economic data has been lacking. EconData is an attempt to bridge the gap.

EconData demo

The EconData website aims to bring the disparate sources of economic data spread over the public domain together into a single centralised repository. In order to make the data useful, an open API and a package for R are also provided, allowing for automatable workflows.

EconData had its start with, and is actively developed by Codera Analytics, a new economic and data analytics startup. The team at Codera are passionate about open-source software and so have based EconData on the SDMX open-source data standard.

This blog serves as a platform to start engaging with the community on issues relating to South African macroeconomic data and also as a place where I will post tutorials on how to use EconData and SDMX. So if you are at all keen of being a part of this public interest project, please consider signing up and come back soon to check out the first tutorial!

Byron Botha – Co-founder and Data Scientist at Codera Analytics

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