4.1 Challenges and advantages
With the introduction of e-reporting for business units as well as initiating e-reporting for persons, households and farms, we expect to stop the decrease in response rates and improve the reporting process. For decreasing the reporting burden on business units, we will continue to work on coordinated sampling.
So far we have focused on central points for data collection from business entities and from persons, households and farms, but in the future we will have a standardised single entry point for data collection from administrative sources. Information is another part that can help in streamlining the data collection process. Thus we will focus on new possible “big data” locations and investigate data flows in the environment. As with every other data collection, we will need to determine new standards for methodological and technical aspects of the data collection process.
We will supplement the system for translation of PIN into the Statistical Identification Number (SIN) with protection of data on names and addresses. With this we will achieve better optimization and security of data in SURS.
As administrative sources are more and more significant in statistical data production and the government is striving towards lowering administrative burden, we should take into account proper communication at all levels with administrative sources, e.g. tracking changes. We will try to find ways to further strengthen the cooperation with administrative sources and better organisation of all partners involved in the process in SURS (statisticians, IT experts, methodologists).
New technology solutions (i.e. new e-reporting system, single entry point) for supporting data collection processes will follow internationally comparable process-oriented models and standards (i.e. GSBPM, GSIM). Introduction of a new statistical business register will improve data collection processes. Common process phases will be identified as foundation for development of standardized reusable components, solutions and methods. A big challenge is to develop such electronic system, solutions and e-services to really improve efficiency, reduce burden and enhance statistical quality.
4.2 New directions
Medium term plan is published on http://www.stat.si/doc/drzstat/MediumTerm_2013-2017.pdf.
4.3 Lessons learned and other comments
Transition of address lists for business entities from separate files into the central system enabled us to have a deeper insight into reporting unit burden. This system is also the basis for further plans for development of communication with reporting units and the basis for development of coordinated sampling. This year we are modernising a contact centre for units cooperating in surveys on business entities. This will enable tracking of communication and better insight into eligibility of the business entity. We would like to improve communication with the respondents and motivate all users to be actively involved.
We are starting to improve the phase of manual micro-level editing. It will be introduced into regular production next year. Almost half of the staff in the Data Collection Division is involved in this phase. With further introduction of semi-automated micro-level editing only harder mistakes will be manually edited. Semi-automated editing is implemented already in data from censuses, some data collections done by our partners and a few surveys conducted by SURS (SILC, ICT, etc.) and will be further introduced into the data editing processes. This will open the possibility of transferring the employees’ knowledge towards enhancing the communication with reporting units.
With the increasing number of surveys where e-reporting is enabled, we will offer the units more friendly reporting. On the other hand, SURS will reorganize the processes and gain resources for enhancing the cooperation with important reporting units. Most of the development connected to e-reporting processes in the future will be oriented into simplification and standardization of questionnaires and modernizing and standardizing the process flow within SURS according to the principles of lean production. This will form a good foundation for less “stove-pipe” oriented processes.
We have established good cooperation with administrative sources regarding communication channels and correction of recurring logical failures in the data in some cases. We intend to improve the process by streamlining the data flow and we need to set up a single entry point. Different administrative input data flows will be managed centrally using a common system for exchanging governmental data.
Stability of employment is one of the key factors for assuring quality. The global crisis had an impact on reducing costs also in this part of the process. The consequence is higher turnover of interviewers.
Despite the work already done in decreasing the consumption of resources in data collection from persons, households and farms with optimization, increased control and lowering the payment, we still need to improve optimization of the resources. We are seeking the solutions for management of interviewers, which is the most demanding activity in terms of time.
The documentation of the processes developed and enhanced throughout the years. Though we never really tackled standardisation, we strive for it. With the development and current situation we need to further strengthen standardisation. A step forward is the publication describing the process of the execution of statistical surveys and quality guidelines for them. This is the basis for regular verifications of survey process flow according to the guidelines and improvement of deficiencies in surveys. We introduced into regular production the standard for preparation of paper questionnaires that is strictly controlled.
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