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SDMX/DDI Dialogue Core Group



Tuesday 11 December 2012, telephone conference

Present: Franck Cotton, Dan Gillman, Al Hamilton, Thérèse Lalor, Achim Wackerow, Adam Wronski and Steve Vale.

Observers: John Csaki and Justin Lynch

Apologies: Arofan Gregory and Juan Munoz


1.               Progress reports from Task Teams


a)      Task Team 1: Vocabularies


There has been little progress due to most of the people concerned being heavily involved in the Generic Statistical Information Model (GSIM) Development Project during 2012. However, the recent DDI workshops in Dagstuhl have shown that there is still a strong interest in mapping and harmonising vocabularies between standards. 


b)      Task Team 2: Business Case


Al reported that a possible new business case is emerging from the work on “standards-based modernisation”, led by the High-Level Group for the Modernisation of Statistical Production and Services (HLG). The development of the GSIM should strengthen the case for using SDMX and DDI in different parts of the statistical process. The SDMX Technical Working Group is looking at possible scenarios.


c)      Task Team 3: Access to Microdata


Thérèse reported that there has been some work to review relevant microdata initiatives and consider possible communication materials. Arofan has been working on expressing register data in SDMX and DDI with Banca d’Italia.



2.               The impact of GSIM


The group discussed how the emergence of GSIM would affect the Dialogue. It was agreed that GSIM is a different sort of standard, so it would not be right to talk about a “trilogue”. However, GSIM should facilitate the mapping of standards, and help to identify gaps and overlaps, as well as relationships between objects in SDMX and DDI.


Arofan and Chris Nelson will be working on mappings between GSIM and DDI, and GSIM and SDMX  early in 2013. The group agreed that it would be useful to set up a Task Team to review this work. Steve will contact the Dialogue mailing list to ask for expressions of interest for this Task Team.



3.               Governance of standardisation issues


Steve reported that the governance structure for work on the standards needed for modernisation, under the Conference of European Statisticians, is currently under review. One possible outcome would be the creation of a Standards Steering Group, which ideally would contain representatives of standards organisations from outside official statistics, such as the DDI Alliance. The HLG is also establishing a project to support the implementation and integration of standards relevant for statistical modernisation. The Core Group will need to consider whether / how the Dialogue will fit into this new governance structure. 


4.               Other initiatives and events


      Release of GSIM version 1.0, 21 December 2012

      The “Friday Seminar” (22 February 2013) before the United Nations Statistical Commission will cover issues related to standards-based modernisation of official statistics, and the use of big data

      The Seminar on New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics, 5-7 March 2013, Brussels,  is likely to feature several papers on standards

      North-American DDI User Conference, April 2-3, 2013, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

      A Eurostat Workshop on standards for data exchange in the European Statistical System is planned for April 2013

      The next METIS Work Session will be held at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington DC on 8-10 May 2013

      The 2013 IASSIST meeting will be held in Cologne on 28-31 May

      The DDI Alliance will hold its annual meeting (members only) on the margins of the IASSIST meeting

      The 2013 European DDI meeting will be held in Paris on 3-4 December


5.               Other Business


Adam outlined a wide range of activities in progress and planned within the European Statistical System concerning data and metadata standards, including the development of a standards-agnostic registry, a common language for validation and work on JSON formats.


6.               Next Meeting


The next teleconference will be held on 19 February 2013, and will include discussions on the future work programme of the Dialogue, and how this fits with other initiatives.