Resource formatting

Last updated: 31/01/2020

Resources (csv, xlsx, xls) must:

  • have a single tab
  • have a single line of column or row headers
    • always start at row 1, column 1
    • the first row or column should always be the field name
    • the second row or column should always be the first row or column of data
    • each header cell must not exceed 63 characters in length
  • be formatted consistently down a column, or across a row (e.g. consistent date formats)
    • use consistent units of measure (e.g. don’t express data in some cells as kilograms and some as tonnes)
  • don’t use ‘$’ in the data cells (it’s ok in the column or row header)—this is a special coding character, and may break a developer’s scripts
  • not have skipped rows or columns
  • not have merged cells (e.g. a single cell spanning 2 rows)
  • not use special characters (generally, anything that is not a letter or a number)
  • not include notes, macros or graphs etc. (You can include explanatory notes as a separate resource—txt or doc—in the dataset.)
  • for numeric columns, use simple decimal numbers (e.g. 23.5), not fractions (e.g. 23 1/2) or ranges (e.g. 23–24).

If a resource is linked, do not:

  • include a space after the URL
  • use a redirected URL.

Below is an example of a correctly formatted table.

1 City 7096 236598 8963.25
2 Country 8052 986573 12365.60
3 Highlands 3068 56845 16953.80