Which data format should I use?

  • The comma separated text file, which has a .csv extension, is best for most users. When it is saved to your computer, the associated icon will look an Excel icon. That's because the default setting on your computer is to use Excel to open files of the .csv type. If you click on the icon, the data will be displayed in an Excel worksheet. From this format, they can be imported or copied and pasted into statistical applications such as SPSS, Systat, and SAS. Alternatively, you can perform descriptive and inferential analyses using the statistical functions and graphing tools in Excel. (You will need the Analysis Toolpak.)
  • XML is included as an option as we look to the future. XML has become the industry standard for communicating data between systems in a manner that is easy to read, manipulate, and transport. XML can be used to describe data that is platform and application independent. The data contained within it and the data definition is simply text. This means that you can view an XML file in a web browser, a text editor (such as Notepad), a Microsoft Office product (such as Microsoft Excel), or any other application that can read it regardless of the computer that you are using. In addition, XML files are small. Moreover, through the use of eXtensible Style Language (XSL), the layout and description of the data is independent of the content. This means that the same XML document can be presented in many different ways without having to alter the data. download your data in comma-separated format.