The format for reporting IATI data is in XML. This is a computer readable language that provides a standardised approach to reporting information. Although this output is not user friendly, it enables data users who are developing accessibility tools to create programmes which quickly and easily pull out data and present it in a more accessible format.
Organisations collect and record data using a variety of methods. Publishing IATI compliant data means that existing data will need to be converted into XML. As well as converting the data itself into XML, many organisations will also need to consider how they are currently recording data and may need to amend this for IATI purposes. An example of this is having to incorporate the use of code lists or ensuring that dates are in ISO 8601 format (e.g. 2012-03-31).
There are a number of options available for converting data into XML. Organisations may have internal technical capacity able to develop programmes to convert data or may bring in consultants to develop bespoke systems for doing this. Other organisations may choose to utilise one of the tools available, such as the Excel conversion tool or one of the web-entry platforms.