What is a wild card expression, and how can I use it to retrieve multiple time series with a concise basket?
Data Buffet contains many families of related indicators, such as:
- Population by age brackets
- Hierarchical industry detail for a single area
- Employment for all metro areas
Is it possible to retrieve an entire family without selecting them individually from the catalog? Yes, by using a wild card expression instead of a list of single mnemonics.
Our time series are identified by alphanumeric mnemonics, which we design with specific structures to facilitate use of wild cards; that is, mnemonics are not sequentially-assigned vectors or accession numbers. For example, U.S. employment is published by NAICS industry, and our mnemonics incorporate the numeric NAICS codes. They are, in this respect, self-documenting.
There are two wild card characters in Data Buffet:
- Caret - ^ - matches a single character in a mnemonic
- Question mark - ? - matches zero or more characters
How to use
- Select one representative series from the dataset.
- Add to a basket.
- Edit the entry to use wild card characters.
In Grid Editor mode, a wild card entry will be labeled as "WILDCARD" in the Description column. You can left-click "WILDCARD" to open a pop-up menu, pick "View Expanded List," and see all matching mnemonics, descriptions and geo names.
A basket may contain multiple wild card expressions, or any mix of single mnemonics and wild cards. If your basket contains a large number of entries, or if you're working to streamline a family of mnemonics to a concise wild card expression, Power Editor mode may be easier to use; you can paste to/from an external spreadsheet or text editor.
Wild card expressions are only available in Baskets. They may not be used in Search; in View, Chart, or Map modes; in Basket Formulas; or in Moody's Analytics Power Tools for Microsoft Excel. If used, they will usually return a "series not found" error.
Examples with historical concept codes
- HXCSHP1TI^ = All annual, semiannual and quarterly CSI home price indices (last character denotes frequency)
- NACEGDP^Q = Both SA and NSA versions of nominal GDP (penultimate character denotes adjustment)
- NA^EGDP^Q = Both nominal/real and SA/NSA versions
- XAWE23^^^ = All 5-digit NAICS industries within "23" (construction) in the CES average weekly earnings dataset
- XAWE23? = All 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-digit industries within "23"
Examples with forecasts
- FET_S^.US = All standard alternative scenarios for the forecast concept FET for the US geo
- FLBF_?.N^ = Scenario-consistent baseline plus alternative scenarios for all "N-" states (NB, ND, NE, etc.)
- FET_FED?.US = All Fed CCAR scenarios
Examples with geo codes
- ^^ = State (also DC and territories)
- IUSA_M^^^ = Metropolitan statistical area
- IUSA_DM^^^ = Metropolitan division (one of the 29 portions of the 11 largest MSAs)
- Z^^^^^ = ZIP Code area
From the catalog, you can use the Geo Wizard to multi-select related geographies. Charts can display up to ten series, and the easiest way to select them is to fill a basket first, then convert it. Maps implicitly display multiple series: you pick just one concept, but the geos are picked for you based on the map template (states, metro areas, countries in Europe, etc.).
In many cases, a Geo List is preferable to a geo wild card. Geo lists return results in a consistent order, and can be more specific. We supply predefined geo lists for counties, for MSAs plus metro divisions, and for the specific areas in our forecast model.
To build a Power Tools spreadsheet with a large number of series, start with a basket.