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)?