What is a data-only release?

A data-only release consists of a dataset page which contains a downloadable spreadsheet or a customisable dataset. Typically there would be no supporting commentary or analysis in a data-only release, but supporting articles can be used for infrequent updates.

If you publish a bulletin or headline release and are thinking about making it data-only, you may want to consider:

  • whether you might need to regularly shape the narrative around new data, to avoid common misunderstandings, for example
  • whether a significant number of users rely on the supporting content in a bulletin or headline release, and how they will be affected if that ends
  • the implications of users downloading and using the data without having easy access to important caveats, strengths and limitations (bear in mind that publishing there is no guarantee 

What to include on a dataset page

There are a small number of editable fields on a dataset page:

Section Content
Title Following Style.ONS guidance, the title is the most impactful way to help users find data. It’s important titles are short, clear and in plain english.
About this dataset A summary of what the dataset includes. Try to include words and phrases that users may search for.
Your download option An automatically generated list of links to the latest release and previous versions of the data.
Important notes and usage information An optional section which appears beneath the downloads list. This content is not very prominent, and an unreliable way to give users information about the data. Use sparingly.
Related  There are a number of different boxes that can be used to link to:

  • Related data
  • Related QMIs
  • Publications that use this data

 

Moving from a bulletin to a data-only release

Let users know about changes to a bulletin

If a bulletin is moving to a data-only release, use a notice to let users know that a bulletin will no longer be published as part of the release.

A notice can be used to direct users to the latest available data on the topic. It should be short and clear and sits at the top of the page in a blue banner. Use the following notice templates when writing a notice for your bulletin.

Notice templates

One dataset release

This bulletin has been discontinued and does not contain the latest data. We will continue to publish the latest data for [Topic/bulletin name] in the [Dataset name and link] dataset.

This bulletin has been discontinued and does not contain the latest data. We will continue to publish the latest quarterly data for Consumer trends in the Consumer trends time series dataset. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Multiple dataset release

This bulletin has been discontinued and does not contain the latest data. We will continue to publish the latest data for [Topic/Bulletin name] in the following datasets:

  • Dataset name and link
  • Dataset name and link
  • Dataset name and link

This bulletin has been discontinued and does not contain the latest data. We will continue to publish the latest quarterly data for Consumer trends in the following datasets:

We will also need to update the “Next release” field at the top of the page to say “Discontinued”.