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TitleUsing Data Buffet: Baskets - What the dates mean
AuthorPhillip Thorne
Question

I have basket output with mixed monthly, quarterly and annual data, but the dates don't make sense. For example, why are the annual figures marked as "December 31"?

Answer

The short answer

The basic rule is this: in Data Buffet basket output, any period longer than a day (a month, quarter, etc.) is labeled with its last day. Depending on the circumstances, this will appear like "February 2012" (the month) or as "February 29" (the day).

The long answer

In basket output, dates appear in two contexts:

  • Labels for data periods
  • Header metadata
    • Begin date
    • Last updated date
    • Historical end date

If your output file format is Microsoft Excel, periods will be labeled in the following ways.  The cell value is a date (except for quarterly labels, which are strings) which is formatted as follows:

  • Daily: 22Aug12
  • Weekly: 29Jul12
  • Monthly: Nov-11
  • Quarterly: 2012Q1 (string)
  • Annual: Dec-1981

The "begin date" header metadata is formatted as "M/D/YYYY".

  • Monthly: 1/31/1900 means "January 1900"
  • Quarterly: 3/31/1910 means "1910Q1"
  • Annual: 12/31/1980 means "1980"