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Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Neuchâtel and Bern (SFSO)

The SFSO is the government body responsible for compiling and disseminating Swiss official statistics. It publishes statistics on such topics as: Population, Employment, Construction, Price Indices, Salaries, Transport, Health, Agriculture, Enterprises etc. Through its unique on-line statistical information system STATWEB, implemented with WIDAS, the SFSO can provide information on-line to any of its numerous requesters both in Switzerland and abroad.

The role of WIDAS

On-line Database STATWEB

The STATWEB database, built on WIDAS, is a large-scale, high-performance data mart covering the entire range of Swiss official statistics in aggregated form. It contains, among other data, over 2'000'000 time-series. The main features are:

Multidimensional Database

STATWEB is a system of logical data modules structured by multiple dimensions such as the 5-dimensional set "Stable Population by Commune, Year, Age, Sex, Country of origin". Such structures can be mapped quite naturally to the WIDAS multi-dimensional database.

Complex Structures

The individual dimensions may have complex inner structures: hierarchies such as commune district canton cross structures such as commune agglomeration or commune linguistic area etc.

Heterogeneous Data

Data from various statistical sources may have widely differing structures and formats. With WIDAS it is easy to abstract and reformulate heterogeneous data into a unitary form.

Consistent Merging

Interdisciplinary work requires the merging of data modules with differing structures across their common dimensions (e.g. across Commune, Age)


The statistical data must be supplemented with conceptual data descriptions, specification of data sources, definitions of items etc.


All STATWEB databases are maintaind in German and French

History Tracking

The individual dimensions may change their structure over time (e.g. when two communes merge). Such situations lead to structural discontinuites in the accumulated data which can be managed readily with the versatile WIDAS history tracking feature.

Data Protection

Data security and confidentiality is ensured at three levels: complete data module / domain of any dimension / single value

Superior Performance

The SFSO can offer a querying, OLAP and data presentation service to hundreds of on-line users because WIDAS is designed for very high performance. The results of a recent official Benchmark have proven the superiority of WIDAS in high-stress and high data volume environments.

Datafeeds to STATWEB

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STATWEB receives data from numerous sources: operational systems within the SFSO, various federal government departments, the Swiss Federal Bank etc. These sources generally deliver disparate data definitions, structures and formats. This leads to logical redefinition, transformation and aggregation issues, which are solved by the WIDAS-based datafeed system.

Lean Client Access to STATWEB

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This software provides direct, LAN, WAN or Internet access to STATINF, including automatic transfer of STATINF data selections into EXCEL spreadsheets on client PCs presentation of graphics, charts and maps on client PCs with the possibility of transferring EPS-graphics into other applications such as Word.

Roadbuilding Cost Statistics

WIDAS proves daily how easily and effectively scientific personel can handle experimental databases, perform sophisticated statistical analyses (OLAP) and use integrated information visualisation and reporting tools on their own.

Analytical and Graphical Tools

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Components for the analysis and aggregation of statistical data (OLAP) and for the graphical presentation (thematical maps for selectable regions etc.).

© SFSO - 2001