Wednesday, May 29, 2019

PCCF in csv Format

Until we complete hiring a new data librarian, I’m the contact for anyone in our institution needing the PCCF and PCCF+ files and my knowledge is very limited. Usually I just provide the files and all is good, but now a grad student who has received the files sent me the following: “I am not familiar with SAS. Could you please send me a csv or Excel file which contains the postal codes and corresponding regions”.

I’ve received the following response from the PCCF team:

“We do not provide the PCCF or PCFRF files in csv or Excel format. The files are quite large, and would take up even more room if they were provided is some application format. They are provided as a flat, fixed width, ASCII text file (.txt), which is readable/importable into a wide variety of applications. This is not a format specific to SAS. The client should be able to use it in whatever data application they are familiar with.

The record layout is provided in the Reference Guide (page 11 in the 2019 February version). That explains the format of the text file, and how the client needs to define the file in their application.

It’s not the most convenient way to provide the files. However, it is the format that is usable in the most applications, and has the smallest file size.”