If you've noticed that FRED searches don't look the way they used to, you're very perceptive. If you haven't noticed, consider visiting FRED more often!
We always consider more data to be a good thing, but FRED has been getting a little harder to navigate lately. So we wanted to help our FRED users reach the data they need more easily. We've changed a few things about the site and hope that (after a few minutes of orientation) you'll find these new tools as indispensable as we do. So let's navigate to a FRED series and see what kind of trouble we can get into.
To start off, locate the Search FRED box in the header here:
Enter "GDP" into the Search FRED box, take a deep breath, and hit return.
Before we dive deeper, let's establish some the basics. We'll break this down into two sections:
1) Let's call this the Series Filter Interface.
2.) Let's call this the Series Results List.
The Series Filter Interface
FRED filters are essentially FRED series metadata that have been parsed out to their most finite terms. These metadata allow the user to sort through vast amounts of information very quickly. The filters displayed in the Series Filter Interface pertain only to the series that we have in our Series Results List. In our case here, there are 78,211 series in FRED that are associated with GDP. Therefore, all of the tags shown are associated with these series. FRED filters are broken down into 8 sections: Concepts, Geography Types, Geographies, Frequencies, Sources, Releases, Seasonal Adjustments, and Citation & Copyright. Each section can be collapsed or expanded by hitting the plus/minus sign illustrated by the red arrows in the picture above. Every section allows you to search within it.
Let's move through the interface and then work through an example of how tags can help us quickly sub-set data. Say we want GDP for Japan. You can quickly jump through the Series Filter Interface to get your results. Simply expand the Geographies menu by hitting the plus and search for Japan there.
Selecting "Japan" will trim our results down from 78,211 series to 169 series. The first result in your Search Results List is Quarterly, Seasonally Adjusted, Gross Domestic Product for Japan. At this point, you can click on a series title, which will take you to the graph page. You can also further refine the search with the filters. If you want annual data, go to the Frequencies section of the Series Filter Interface and select annual. Similarly if you want data that is not seasonally adjusted, go to the Seasonal Adjustments section and select not seasonally adjusted.
Let's say we no longer want data for Japan. Notice the filter (in red) that appears above the Series Results List. To remove the Japan filter, simply click the x.
In the Series Results List, you might notice groupings occasionally have other formats with a drop-down arrow. These groupings contain other metadata combinations such as unit or frequency differences. In the picture below, you can see units and seasonal adjustment are the format changes since the quarterly frequency filter has been selected.