Sharing and Using Data

| January 9, 2021

If your data uses the HXL standard, then HDX can automatically create customizable graphs and key figures to help you highlight the most important aspects of your dataset. We call these 'Quick Charts'. For a Quick Chart to be generated, your dataset needs to be public and contain a CSV or XLSX resource with HXL tags. HXL is easy! Check out the 30-second tutorial.

The resource can be stored on HDX or as a remote resource at another URL. Quick Charts will be generated from the first resource with HXL tags in the list of a dataset's resources. The system will try to generate up to three charts based on the HXL tags, and these can be changed to best tell the story in your data. You can edit each Quick Chart's title, axis labels, and description. Don't forget to save the changes so they become the default view that users see when viewing your dataset. Here's a good example to get you started.

Learn more about HXL and HDX Tools in the section below.


| January 9, 2021

You can only edit a dataset if you are an administrator or editor of your organisation. If you have the appropriate role, on the dataset page you will find an 'Edit' button just below the dataset title on the right. This will allow you to edit the dataset metadata and the resources. These slides provide a walk-through of how to edit a dataset:


| January 9, 2021

There are 4 metadata fields that accept markdown which provides some simple formatting commands.

The "description", "methodology:other", and "caveats/comments" fields, as well as the description field for each resource attached to the dataset, all accept markdown formatting. The most useful markdown commands are outlined here:

Links can be entered like this:

[the linked text](https://data.humdata.org)

and will be rendered like this: the linked text
Italics can be indicated by surrounding text with single asterisks, like this:

*A bit of italics text*

Bold can be indicated by surrounding text with double asterisks, like this:

**A bit of bold text**

Bulleted lists must start with and be followed by a blank line. Each item in the list starts with an asterisk and a space:

* item 1
* item 2
* etc.

Numbered lists must also start with and be followed by a blank line. Each item starts with the number 1, a period, and a space:

1. First item
1. Second item. Note that the lines always start with a one followed by a period and space.
1. 3rd item
1. etc.


| January 9, 2021

Let others know your data is available by publishing your metadata without uploading any file(s) via HDX Connect. Once users request access, you decide what to share.

This is a good option if:

  • You are in the process of collecting data but you are not finished.
  • Your data contains personally identifiable information.
  • You need to restrict access to your data.

Sensitive data should always be shared via a secure channel, such as encrypted email or an encrypted file transfer service. Share the password to decrypt data separately via a different secure channel. You may want to establish a data sharing agreement before sharing sensitive data.

For more on responsible approaches to data sharing read this guidance note.

Learn more about HDX Connect through the walkthrough slides below. Read this blog to understand the research and rationale behind HDX Connect.


| January 9, 2021

Click on the 'Add Data' button from any page on HDX. You will be required to login and associate yourself with an organisation. The slides below provide a walkthrough of how to add a dataset. General information about all the metadata options in HDX is available in our Guide to Metadata.


| January 9, 2021

A dataset is a collection of related data resources. A resource is an individual file within a dataset. When sharing data, you first create a dataset and then you can add one or more resources to it. A resource can either be a file uploaded to HDX (such as a CSV or XLS file) or a link to another website with a downloadable file. A resource, such as a readme file, could also contain documentation that helps users to understand the dataset.


| January 9, 2021

Data on HDX is shared through organisations. You need to be a member of an organisation (with appropriate privileges) before you can contribute data. If you have data to share, you can either request to create a new organisation or ask to join an existing one. (See the Organisations section above.)

There are three ways to share data on HDX:

Public - Data shared publicly is accessible to all users of the HDX platform, whether or not they are registered. All public data must be shared under an appropriate license. Select the 'public' setting in the metadata field when uploading data.

Private - Organisations can share data privately with their members. The administrator of each organisation controls who can become a member. The default visibility is set to 'private' when uploading new data. Once shared, private datasets are only listed on your organisation page (make sure you are logged in to see them). They will not be included in search results or the data list page.To make data accessible to HDX users, the contributing organisation needs to change the visibility to public.

By Request - Organisations can share the metadata of a dataset and grant access to the underlying data when requested by a registered user. See how to share and request metadata only datasets through these slides.

Sensitive data should always be shared via a secure channel, such as encrypted email or an encrypted file transfer service. Share the password to decrypt data separately via a different secure channel. You may want to establish a data sharing agreement before sharing sensitive data.

For more on responsible approaches to data sharing read this guidance note.

Learn more about how HDX handles sensitive data below.

Learn more about HDX Connect here: