Getting started guide

Statistics.scot.gov provides a range of statistical and geographic data about Scotland from a variety of organisations. Find, share, use and download data from over 250 datasets. All blue text on the site is clickable and will take you to a different page.

How to find data

Search for data by
  • Going to the data search box on the homepage
  • Going to the search tab in the top toolbar of the homepage and entering a keyword in the Find Data search box
Browse for data by
  • Going to the data tab in the top toolbar on the homepage. Explore by theme or organisation by clicking on the blue text beneath those headings on the page. Explore latest data updates at the top of the Data page. 

  • Enter an area or postcode in the search box by selecting the find places tab. This will take you to an Atlas page with a map of the area selected. Scroll down to see datasets which include data for that area.
View metadata
  • The About tab for each dataset gives you the metadata - contextual information that should help you understand the dataset that you are viewing

Filtering the data

After searching or browsing for data, you’ll get a list of relevant datasets. Select the dataset that you’re interested in by clicking on its title to get to it.

The dataset page shows the various dimensions in the datasets.To view data as a table, you need to select which dimension should form the columns of that table. The columns will be whichever dimension you don’t apply a filter to.

In any table you generate, the geography will be the rows. This example shows the choice made to view a count of part time female employment over time and area:

  • Select Gender = female
  • Select Measure type = count
  • Select Working pattern = part time

When you select a dimension value, your choice is shown by a lock image. It looks like this:

Once you’ve filtered your data you’re taken to your table. Note: if you want to view data over a period of time (for a time series chart) then you will need to view all the values for Reference Period, so don’t click on anything for that dimension. 

Getting data out

At the foot of each dataset and spreadsheet there is a CSV button. Click this to download the data as a csv file (which will work in Excel). To make a customised download of one or more datasets, choosing only the parts you want, you can use the Data Cart.

Viewing Maps and Charts

In a table
  • To visualise a map of data across areas go to your table first. At the top of each column in a table is a drop down menu which has an option to visualise the column as a map (where appropriate). When you click on this, you get an interactive map which shows the available data as you hover over areas.

  • To view a chart, click on an individual cell in the spreadsheet. This takes you to a separate webpage for that statistic. On that page are three tabs: data, charts and API. Go to the Chart tab. If data for other time periods has been published, there will be a time series chart with the selected statistic highlighted to show context. More on this at Generating maps from a table and Visualising data: maps and charts

Sharing Data

Sharing data can be done by either

  • Copying and pasting the address in the toolbar
  • Going to the API tab, where you will find a permanent URI (address link) for the data you’re viewing

Access data via an API

  • Go to the API tab at either dataset, spreadsheet or individual statistic (data point) level. More on this in the Using the API guide, which is coming soon.

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