23. GSIM can either be mapped to an existing information model or adopted as is by a statistical organization. The steps to adopting GSIM are outlined in the following two sections. Please see the GSIM Specification for further details about the information objects mentioned in these sections.
A statistical organization has an existing information model
24. It should be a straightforward task to map an existing information model onto GSIM. The order in which the mapping is undertaken could be dependent on the orientation of the existing information model.
25. If the information model focuses primarily on metadata, start with the Concepts group of the GSIM. This group comprises information objects such as Variable, Statistical Classification, and Value Domain.
26. If the information model stresses mainly the management of data sets, the point of departure could be the Structures group. This is where notions such as Data Set, Referential Metadata Set and information about their structures can be found
27. The information model could be principally oriented on the high level management of the statistical process as well as the design and execution of statistical processes. In this case, start the mapping with the Business group. It offers concepts such as Statistical Need, Assessment, Business Case, Statistical Program, Process Step Design, Input Specification and Output Specification.
28. It might, however, be preferable to begin with information objects referring to collection and dissemination of information. The Exchange group includes information objects referring to Questionnaire, Administrative Register, Product, Information Provider and Information Consumer.
29. These four groups are interrelated through relations linking information objects across the group borders, so you will easily find a path from one group to the other.
A statistical organization adopts GSIM as its information model
30. Most statistical organizations have some information models distributed over one or more repositories (catalogues, data bases, etc.) to manage statistical methods, statistical metadata, architectural principles, policy provisions and similar things. In many cases these information models may be implicit rather than explicit. Typically these models will represent a subset of the information objects in GSIM – containing just those that are relevant to the purpose of the particular model.
31. A statistical organization may choose to:
- adopt one of the existing models as the organization's preferred information model, map this model to GSIM and adopt the sections of GSIM which are needed to address any gaps in coverage; or
- adopt GSIM to bring all this information into one consistent model.
32. The order in which the different bits of information are brought together under the GSIM will be dependent on the relative importance of the collections of information.
GSIM and GSBPM
33. Although GSIM can be used independently, it has been designed to work in conjunction with the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM). It supports GSBPM and covers the whole statistical process. It is assumed in this section that an organization either uses GSBPM or uses another business process model (which can be mapped to GSBPM).
34. Adopting GSIM at a business level involves an analysis of the information being used, managed and processed when designing and producing statistics. When designing a new process or redesigning an existing process, the process should be mapped to GSBPM and the information objects should be mapped to GSIM. In Annex A, there are a number of examples of how this can be done.
35. This work is useful, because GSIM makes business processes and methods "visible", where other design approaches keep them buried in application code and documentation. This opens up a range of technical possibilities. For example:
- Comparing IT solutions
- Sharing IT solutions across subject matter domains, or even between statistical organizations
36. After undertaking this exercise, it is possible that there will be information objects that your organization needs to describe, but that are not accounted for in GSIM.
37. Most organizations have legacy systems and administrative practices that will require an extension of GSIM to meet organization-specific implementation needs. In particular, processes relating to corporate management are outside the scope of both GSIM and GSBPM.
38. GSIM is robust, but can readily be adapted and extended to meet users' needs. In order to implement GSIM, you will need to identify the organization-specific information that needs to be integrated into your own extension of GSIM. Examples include preferred platforms and standards, standard documents to be produced when developing a new statistical program, etc.
39. In order to extend GSIM usefully, it is important to use the mechanism provided within GSIM, and to document every extension carefully. The quality of this documentation is fundamental for a successful use of the extensions for communication between all participants in the activities of the organization. Moreover, extensions to GSIM are not for internal use only. They should be submitted to the Modernisation Committee on Standards under the UNECE (firstname.lastname@example.org), which will keep a record of existing GSIM extensions. Some of them might well be approved as something that should be added to the agreed model.