This guide is intended to introduce you to the Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server
interface by carrying out a simple and hopefully typical research task using
the IMF's International Financial Statistics (IFS).
||Visualise and download monthly exchange rate data for select Latin American
countries between 1990m1 to 1999m12.
It is divided into three stages:
Finding and selecting the data
Visualising the data
- Downloading the data
Approx. time to complete: 20 minutes.
A4 worksheet version of this task can be printed in or pdf
For help, please contact the ESDS
Stage i) Finding and selecting
Choose IMF IFS data from the 'Direct Links to data' drop down list
on the ESDS International website, or via the following url - http://esds.mcc.ac.uk/wds_ifs/
to access the IMF IFS data.
Input UK HE/FE institutional username and password in the login
window. If you do not have a UK HE/FE institutional id, please visit the login
help pages within the Access and Preservation section of ESDS.
If you have not already registered with the ESDS you will then be automatically
redirected to complete an online registration after which you will need to
agree to the IMF special conditions prior to being able to access the data
using only your UK HE/FE institutional username and password.
On entering the Beyond 20/20 Web Data Server site for the IMF IFS data you
should see a folder labeled International Financial Statistics.
Select International Financial Statistics <month and year of release>.
In the view that appears you will see a list of folders.
Select the 'World Tables' folder for comparable statistics.
Click on the 'Exchange Rates' folder.
Click on the 'Monthly' series folder which gives the following:
At the top of the screen you will see three tabs:
- Reports: returns to list of available IMF reports in folders
- Table: displays the tabular view of the selected data (current view)
- Chart: displays the diagrammatic view of the selected data
On the left hand side of the screen you will see the available dimensions
under Columns, Rows and Other headings. The current dimension is highlighted,
for example in the screen shot above, the Country dimension is highlighted
and a list of countries available for selection within that dimension are
shown on the right hand side of the page.
Use the 'Clear All' button to remove any existing selections.
Type 'Argentina' in the search input box and click 'Search'.
Place a tick in the checkbox next to Argentina. Do the same for Bolivia,
Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Note: Each IFS time series under Search all
series carries a unique identification code consisting of a three-digit country
code (e.g. 213 = Argentina) and a four-digit subject code (e.g. AAZF = Exchange
Rates). This is referred to as the IFS line number. In Beyond 20/20 WDS blanks
in an IFS line number are indicated by a dot. There may also be further digits
which indicate the version of the series. Please see ESDS International's
IFS dataset user
guide for further details on country codes, structure and content of the
Move onto next dimension 'Time' using the 'Select Items to View' icon from the toolbar.
Note: You can also switch dimensions by clicking
on the dimension name - both options are illustrated in the screen shot below.
Use the 'Clear All' tool and tick 'Select Range' from within the 'Time' dimension then
click on 1990m1 tick box followed by 1999m12 tick box. This will select all
years within the range specified, i.e.from 1990 to 2000.
Note: There is a new profile function in Beyond 20/20. Profiles enable you to save your selections from each dimension (for example, country or series) of the database. When you return to the database you can re-activate your previously saved profiles. Selections in each dimension are saved individually so you can save selections in as many or few dimensions are you want.
For example, say you wish to select data for a number of countries. Once you have selected your countries you can then save this selection as a named profile by clicking on the profile icon then choosing 'Save current selections as a profile' option: Beyond 20/20 will then remember the countries you have selected and store this selection as a named profile for you to use in future sessions. The procedure can be repeated for any other dimension of the database.
Each time you log on, Beyond 20/20 will recognize who you are and can retrieve your previously saved selections for that database. This means that the next time you wish to run the same query you can click on the profile icon then select 'Activate profile' to reopen your saved selections. The profiles will be saved until you choose to delete them.
You have now completed the Finding and Selecting data stage and can move
on to visualising your data.
Stage ii) Visualising
There are two ways of visualising data in Beyond 20/20 WDS - in table or
View the report in table format by using the 'Show Table'
button at the top of the screen.
Note: the format of the table can be rearranged by dragging
and dropping the dimension headings.
View the report in chart format by using the 'Chart'
tab at the top of the screen.
In the example screen shot above, the chart shows monthly exchange rate figures
for selected Latin American countries for 1990-2000.
Use the 'Chart Types' icon to change chart type and the 'View printable version' icon to print the chart.
To save the chart image, use Alt + Print Screen and paste into
a paint program as right clicking to 'Save picture as' only saves the chart
itself and not the chart key or heading.
Stage iii) Downloading
Return to the Table tab to download the data
to your pc. Manipulate the table into desired format using the dimension headers
as the table layout and contents are downloaded exactly as they appear on
Use the 'Download' icon . and select
your desired download format.
The rest of the process is the same as downloading any file from the web.
Once you have downloaded the data, you can see information on how to cite the data towards the top of the file.
Congratulations you have successfully completed the IMF IFS tutorial -
now you are ready to do some serious work with your downloaded data!
Please see the IMF
IFS dataset user guide for further information on the contents of the
If you would like to move to another database you can select the 'Quick links to macro data' drop down box at the top of the page then select the database you require.
Tested on Netscape 7 and Internet Explorer 7.
Note: All Beyond 20/20 images used on this
page are Copyright © Beyond 20/20 Inc. All rights reserved.