HXL Hashtags and Attributes

| February 16, 2022

If no HXL hashtag is a perfect match, you still have a few options: 

  • You can use a more general hashtag combined with attributes, e.g. #affected +refugees +injured +elderly +f for the number of elderly refugee women injured. 
  • You can use the general #indicator hashtag combined with your own custom attribute to identify an indicator specific to your own organisation, project, or cluster, e.g. #indicator +facilities_damaged +num for the number of facilities damaged (where +facilities_damaged is the attribute that you created). 
  • If no general hashtag applies, you can create your own custom hashtag beginning with “x_”, e.g. #x_virulence for the virulence of a disease.

 More information is available in the HXL standard, 3.2. Creating extension hashtags.


| February 16, 2022

No. It is fine to leave some columns untagged, especially if they’re highly-specialised data that wouldn’t be of general interest. However, if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” we strongly recommend tagging:

  • Is the column important for connecting your data with related datasets (e.g. locations, dates, sectors, org names, population figures)?
  • Do you want to be able to work on the data in the column using HXL-aware tools (transform, validate, visualise, search, etc)?
  • Do you want to be able to operate on the data yourself, even if the column orders or headers change (e.g. importing into a database)?