7. The GSBPM should be applied and interpreted flexibly. It is not a rigid framework in which all steps must be followed in a strict order, instead it identifies the possible steps in the statistical business process, and the inter-dependencies between them.
8. Although the presentation of the GSBPM follows the logical sequence of steps in most statistical business processes, the elements of the model may occur in different orders in different circumstances. Also, some sub processes will be revisited a number of times forming iterative loops, particularly within the Process and Analyse phases.
9. GSBPM should therefore be seen more as a matrix, through which there are many possible paths. In this way the GSBPM aims to be sufficiently generic to be widely applicable, and to encourage a standard view of the statistical business process, without becoming either too restrictive or too abstract and theoretical.
10. The GSBPM comprises three levels:
- Level 0, the statistical business process;
- Level 1, the eight phases of the statistical business process;
- Level 2, the sub-processes within each phase.
11. A diagram showing the phases (level 1) and sub-processes (level 2) is included in Section IV. The sub-processes are described in detail in Section V.
12. The GSBPM also recognises several over-arching processes that apply throughout the eight phases, and across statistical business processes. These can be grouped into two categories, those that have a statistical component, and those that are more general, and could apply to any sort of organisation. The first group are considered to be more important in the context of this model, however the second group should also be recognised as they have (often indirect) impacts on several parts of the model.
13. Over-arching processes with a statistical component include the following. The first four are most closely related to the model. Quality and Metadata management are specifically highlighted in model diagrams and are elaborated further in Section VI.
- Quality management - This process includes quality assessment and control mechanisms. It recognises the importance of evaluation and feedback throughout the statistical business process;
- Metadata management - Metadata are generated and processed within each phase, there is, therefore, a strong requirement for a metadata management system to ensure the appropriate metadata retain their links with data throughout the GSBPM. This includes process-independent considerations such as metadata custodianship and ownership, quality, archiving rules, preservation, retention and disposal;
- Data management - This includes process-independent considerations such as general data security, custodianship and ownership, data quality, archiving rules, preservation, retention and disposal;
- Process data management - This includes the management of data and metadata generated by and providing information on all parts of the statistical business process.
- Knowledge management - This ensures that statistical business processes are repeatable, mainly through the maintenance of process documentation;
- Statistical framework management - This includes developing standards, for example methodologies, concepts and classifications that apply across multiple processes;
- Statistical program management - This includes systematic monitoring and reviewing of emerging information requirements and emerging and changing data sources across all statistical domains. It may result in the definition of new statistical business processes or the redesign of existing ones;
- Provider management - This includes cross-process burden management, as well as topics such as profiling and management of contact information (and thus has particularly close links with statistical business processes that maintain registers);
- Customer management - This includes general marketing activities, promoting statistical literacy, and dealing with non-specific customer feedback.
14. More general over-arching processes include:
- Human resource management;
- Financial management;
- Project management;
- Legal framework management;
- Organisational framework management;
- Strategic planning.
15. The GSBPM is intended to apply to all activities undertaken by producers of official statistics, at both the national and international levels, which result in data outputs. It is designed to be independent of the data source, so it can be used for the description and quality assessment of processes based on surveys, censuses, administrative records, and other non-statistical or mixed sources.
16. Whilst the typical statistical business process includes the collection and processing of data to produce statistical outputs, the GSBPM also applies to cases where existing data are revised or time-series are re-calculated, either as a result of improved source data, or a change in methodology. In these cases, the input data are the previously published statistics, which are then processed and analysed to produce revised outputs. In such cases, it is likely that several sub-processes and possibly some phases (particularly the early ones) would be omitted. Similarly, the GSBPM can be applied to processes such as the compilation of National Accounts, and the typical processes of international statistical organisations
17. As well as being applicable for processes which result in statistics, the GSBPM can also be applied to the development and maintenance of statistical registers, where the inputs are similar to those for statistical production (though typically with a greater focus on administrative data), and the outputs are typically frames or other data extractions, which are then used as inputs to other processes.
18. The GSBPM should be seen as sufficiently flexible to apply in all of the above scenarios.
19. The GSBPM is a reference model. It is intended that GSBPM may be used by organisations to different degrees. An organisation may choose to either implement GSBPM directly or use it as the basis for developing an organisation specific adaption of the model. It may be used in some cases only as a model to which organisations refer when communicating internally or with other organisations to clarify discussion. The various scenarios for the use of GSBPM are all valid.
20. When organisations have developed organisation-specific adaptions of the GSBPM, they may make some specialisations to the model to fit their organisational context. The evidence so far suggests that these specialisations are not sufficiently generic to be included in the GSBPM itself.
21. In some cases it may be appropriate to group some of the elements of the model. For example, phases one to three could be considered to correspond to a single planning phase. In other cases, particularly for practical implementations, there may be a need to add one or more detailed levels to the structure presented below to separately identify different components of the sub-processes.
22. There may also be a requirement for a formal sign-off between phases, where the output from one phase is certified as suitable as input for the next. This sort of formal approval is implicit in the model, but may be implemented in many different ways depending on organisational requirements.