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Navigation on the OECD site is far superior, and the response time to queries is dishearteningly long.

But Frances, for my money, FRED (http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/) is far better than either one. It is fast, friendly, well-enough organized and bullet-proof in terms of reliability.

Simon, thanks for that. I didn't find the OECD site vastly superior, but I think it's because I'm more familiar with the CANSIM one, and with familiarity even something that's pretty clunky starts to seem logical (like pressing start to log off on a PC).

Do you know how the FRED is powered, that is, is it their own software?

One thing about FRED that I like is that they have big categories and then subcategories, rather than StatCan's hard-to-digest list of 32 subject headings.

+1 for FRED

Sina - the OECD platform is based on somewhat open source software, and the data is stored in a way that meet some kind of international standards, so it has been adopted by a number of countries, e.g. Italy, and now New Zealand. It seems that the St Louis FRED shares their data ($$?), but their web site isn't clear about whether or not they licence their software, or at what cost.

It's expensive for all of these statistical agencies to develop and maintain their own software, so probably over time there'll be a movement towards adoption of a smaller number of standardized platforms. The question then is: which one?

From this article, it seems to me that FRED is using home-grown software:


I'm currently a student at the university of Ottawa and have a professor who used to work at StatsCan. He told us the other day that he was explaining to some people at StatsCan that CANSIM navigation was cumbersome and that many of his students prefer OECD navigation. The StatsCan people told him that this was a great coincidence because just the week previous some people from the OECD were visiting StatsCan trying to sell them the OECD setup.

Just thought I'd offer some information.

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