Column Headers

  • Only use alphanumeric or these 3 special characters: period (.), dash (-), and underscore (_)
    • Ampersand (&) should be replaced by “and” if needed
  • Each must be unique
    • Can’t have two headers called "duration"
  • Units of measure should be omitted
    • Units can and should be provided with the data dictionary
  • Keep short (less than 30 characters)
    • A full description can and should be provided with the data dictionary

Column Order

  • Unique identifiers should be in the left-most column if applicable
  • Date and time variables should be in the first column for time series data
  • Fixed or classified variables should be ordered with the highest-level variable on the left and most granular variable on the right, for example
  • Observed variables should always be on the rightmost columns, these are measured variables often numeric, for example:
    • Duration
    • Number of Units
    • Number of Stories
    • Year Built
    • People Served

Is anything wrong, unclear, missing?

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