Improved search features on Aila Data Service

Conducting searches on FSD’s Aila Data Service is now even easier than before. The search interface has a renewed visual design, and users can make the selection of whether they want to search for data, variables and questions or publications right at the search home page. Search results and dataset lists are also presented more clearly than before.

As searches in Aila are not only targeted at metadata but also the actual contents of the data, it is important for us to continuously maintain and improve our Data Service. Unlike many other national and international data catalogues, Aila enables searches on the level of questions and variables. The metadata created at FSD also allow for greater findability, helping our users find data suitable for their purposes efficiently. Anyone can search and browse our metadata and variables, but downloading data files often requires registration.

Improving the features of Aila are part of FSD’s activities to prepare for the implementation of the CESSDA Euro Question Bank (EQB). On Aila, questions and variable search can be refined by data file language, among others. At the moment, there are roughly 200,000 variables in the FSD holdings and 67,000 of them are available in English. There are fewer variables available in English because quantitative data are only translated from Finnish into English on request. However, all data are described both in Finnish and English, and the Aila Data Service is available in both languages.

FSD has also published a completely new service, FNESdata portal, where the variables of the combined data of four Finnish National Election Studies (2003-2015) are available for searching and browsing by concept.