Exploring data online using the ESDS Nesstar Catalogue
Using Nesstar, users can search for, locate, browse, analyse, visualise and download a variety of survey data. No specialised software
is required - just a web browser.
The Nesstar catalogue contains many large-scale datasets, for example, the Labour Force Survey, and academic surveys such as the
British Social Attitudes Survey and the National Child Development Study. It also contains a number of datasets specifically created
for teaching purposes.
Finding Nesstar datasets
Nesstar datasets can be found in the following ways:
- by directly accessing the ESDS Nesstar catalogue at
- by searching for datasets via the main Data Catalogue or Major Studies pages and looking for the Explore Online icon
Using Nesstar - the basics
- Open the ESDS Nesstar Catalogue at
- Two folders will then be displayed in the left frame:
- Research Datasets: containing key survey datasets, and
- Teaching Datasets: containing samplers/subsets of data particularly suitable for teaching and learning purposes.
- Click on the words About the ESDS Nesstar Catalogue to view some useful information about using the ESDS Nesstar catalogue.
Note: This will be displayed in the right frame.
- Click on the next to a folder name to expand that folder
and view its contents.
Note: The two main folders contain sub-folders for each survey series, e.g. the Health Survey for England,
and within each series folder, the survey datasets are listed.
- Expand the Teaching Datasets folder.
- Expand the Crime Survey for England and Wales (formally British Crime Survey) folder within it.
- Expand the British Crime Survey, 2000: X4L SDiT Teaching Dataset by clicking on the dataset icon .
An abstract will be displayed in the right frame, and the following two folders will then be available:
- Metadata: containing background information about the survey
- Variable Description: containing all the variables in the survey, arranged in variable groups by topics related to the survey.
- Expand the Variable Description folder. The variable groups for this dataset will then be displayed.
- Expand the Fear of Crime group. A list of variables within this group will then be shown.
- Click on the variable How worried about being mugged, robbed. Information about that variable will be displayed
in the right frame, e.g. the question text, frequency counts, interviewer instructions etc.
- Select other variables to view.
Note: Browsing metadata and variable information does not require users to log in. Cross-tabulations using data from the
British Crime Survey, 2000: X4L SDiT Teaching Dataset also does not require users to log in. However, cross-tabulations
and downloading data, using all other datasets, requires users to be registered with the ESDS.
Creating a cross-tabulation
After opening a dataset, the Tabulation
option will become available on the top menu.
To create a cross-tabulation using the variables in the British Crime Survey, 2000: X4L SDiT Teaching Dataset:
- Expand the Fear of Crime folder.
- Click on Tabulation from the top menu.
- Click on Worried about being mugged, robbed. This will now be underlined, and various options will be displayed,
e.g. Add to row, Add to column, etc.
- Click Add to row.
Note: if you are using a dataset other than the one mentioned above, you will be prompted to log in at this point.
- Expand the Demographics folder by clicking
- Click on the variable Sex.
- Click on Add to column. You will now have a two dimensional cross-tabulation.
Note: in the resulting table, women are over twice as likely to be 'Very worried' about being robbed or mugged as men. Over half
of the women interviewed were worried compared to only a third of men.
- Click on the variable Age Group. This is also in the Demographics group.
- Click Add to column. You will now have a three dimensional cross-tabulation.
Note: older men are more worried than younger men (38 per cent of men over 60 are worried compared to 30 per cent between the ages of 16-29).
- Click the Graph icon, , available from the toolbar.
- Select the graph option, , to produce a graph of this table.
- Click the Table icon, , to return to the table view.
Weighting the data
In general, frequencies and tables should be weighted. Users should consult the associated documentation for further information
on how to correctly weight the data. To apply a weight:
- When a cross-tabulation has been created, select the weight icon, ,
from the toolbar.
- Select a weight from the Weighting variables defined in the dataset box.
- Click the > arrow to move the selected weight to the Weighing variables selected box.
- Click OK. The table will then be redisplayed showing weighted statistics. A Weight is on message will also be
displayed, under the table.
Graphing options, e.g. bar or pie charts.
Download option, including by case and/or variables, in various formats.|
| Export cross-tabulations into an Excel spreadsheet.
|| Print contents of right frame, e.g. metadata, tables, charts.
| Export cross-tabulations and charts to a PDF file.
|| Use to create a bookmark/link to a dataset, variable,
analysis or chart.
| To create a subset,
click this icon, select a variable in the left frame, select 'Add to subset' and follow the on-screen instructions.
|| Some datasets include mapping variables. If a mapping variable
is added to a cross-tabulation, information will be displayed on a map.
| Use to compute and recode new variables.
|| Context-sensitive help.
Other Nesstar resources
- Nesstar WebView User Guide:
- ZA Nesstar Catalogue (ZACAT):
- European Social Survey:
A2 Using the ESDS Nesstar Catalogue