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The Experiences of Web Based Data Collection from Enterprises in Finland August 9 th The Experiences of Web Based Data Collection from Enterprises in Finland August 9 th 2006, JSM Seattle USA

Introduction - Strategies And Methods Statistics Finland’s Strategy for EDR n To offer an Introduction - Strategies And Methods Statistics Finland’s Strategy for EDR n To offer an electronic option in all data collections by 2007 (not in person statistics) n It’s the respondent’s choice whether to use it or not Data Collection Methods n About 97% of data are derived from administrative registers n About 3% are from direct data collection (paper forms, machine readable data / primary EDI, EDR, interviews by CATI/CAPI systems: mainly Blaise) Business Data Collections n About 50 surveys (excluding collections with less than 30 respondents) n 45 Web (Internet form) collections in use Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 2

Background - Data Collection And Infrastructure n Traditionally high response rates (in both annual Background - Data Collection And Infrastructure n Traditionally high response rates (in both annual and sub-annual business surveys) l n Good relations with data providers l n Up to over 99%, persistent staff Experienced staff, continuous personal contacts, high level of trust High level of using the Internet l Almost every enterprise has access to the internet (employees 10+ 98%, employees 100+ 100%) l n Business surveys are directed to the largest enterprises Positive atmosphere for using internet with the government Respondents are even enthusiastic about using the Internet l “It’s fun to fill in web forms instead of paper ones!” l Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 3

Background - Three Generations of In-house EDR Solutions n 1. Generation: Building cost index Background - Three Generations of In-house EDR Solutions n 1. Generation: Building cost index 2001 l n 2. Generation: 7 EDR solutions 2002 -2005 l n Built using Microsoft Windows DNA (Distributed Internet Application Architecture) VB. NET 3. Generation: 23 EDR solutions 2005 -2006 l XCola 11 EDR solutions made by outside service provider 1997 -2006 n Pilot in integrated data collection (tourism statistics) n Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 4

Technical information - XCola in a Nutshell A generic application for Web surveys n Technical information - XCola in a Nutshell A generic application for Web surveys n Processes the XML questionnaires and transforms them into Web applications n Supports client and server side validations n Executed on the server side, does not require any installation on the respondent side n Works on every modern browser n Easy to implement new questionnaires in just hours n n Main developer: Mr. Toni Räikkönen, toni. [email protected] fi Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 5

Benefits - Summary of Main Benefits Simplifying data collection process n Reducing need for Benefits - Summary of Main Benefits Simplifying data collection process n Reducing need for human resources n Reducing other data collection costs Cost-efficiency Improving the quality of collected data n Decreasing non-response Accuracy n n n Speeding up the data accumulation Timeliness Reducing response burden n Enabling direct individual feedback for respondents n Enabling browsing of previously submitted data n Assuring high level data security n Rami Peltola Data provider relations August 9 th 2006 6

Achieved Cost-Efficiency - 2 nd Generation n Four second generation solutions have been in Achieved Cost-Efficiency - 2 nd Generation n Four second generation solutions have been in production for 3 years (3300 respondents per month plus 800 per quarter) l Average per cent of work saved in the data collection phase is over 40 (2 person years) l The amount of ground mail has been reduced by 65% (0. 5 person years) l Number of reminders sent has gone down by half l l “Mass e-mailer” for all kinds of collections Investment is paid off in about a year Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 7

Cost-Efficiency Continues to Improve - 3 rd Generation n Common framework (one engine) for Cost-Efficiency Continues to Improve - 3 rd Generation n Common framework (one engine) for similar systems An effective build-up Simple method for transferring data between collection and production databases n Only one application to maintain and support n Support and development knowledge easier to acquire and spread n Reducing need for human resources n As manual handling diminishes, it can be replaced by more rewarding tasks Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 8

hours An Example - Working Hours Used in Data Collection and Validation in Sale hours An Example - Working Hours Used in Data Collection and Validation in Sale Inquiry 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 years Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 9

Accuracy and Timeliness n The data received are of better quality: “ 25% less Accuracy and Timeliness n The data received are of better quality: “ 25% less errors” (both annual and sub-annual surveys) Response rates have remained on high level n The average response time of monthly surveys has reduced n l n The number of reminders sent has decreased substantially l n in the best case by 8 -10 days or 30% in the best case by 50% (from 1000 to 500 in just 4 months) The share of the respondents using EDR -solution has in most cases reached high level sub-annual surveys > 60% (in the best case 85%) l annual surveys ~ 30% (in the best case 75%) l Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 10

responses An Example - Sale Inquiry Accumulation of Data 01/2002 - 01/2006 Rami Peltola responses An Example - Sale Inquiry Accumulation of Data 01/2002 - 01/2006 Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 11

Data Provider Relations Perceived response burden has gone down n E-mail informs of the Data Provider Relations Perceived response burden has gone down n E-mail informs of the survey and reminds to answer n Questionnaire is “always” available and fast to fill-in n Option to fill in the questionnaire in separate sessions n Good designing of the questionnaire n Helpful validity checks - no additional inquiries n Contextual on-line help n Support for several languages n Individually tailored feedback n Access to all the previously submitted data and pre-filled questionnaires n Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 12

High Level of Data Security Data security audit by an outside consult n All High Level of Data Security Data security audit by an outside consult n All traffic on the Internet is SSL -encrypted n An authentication / authorisation -process is always needed n New user IDs and passwords every year n User IDs and passwords are initially sent in a letter n Only one of them can be sent by email l The other one must always be sent in a letter or given over by telephone l n Only a certain number of our staff have access to user IDs and passwords (usually two persons per survey) Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 13

responses An Example - Sale Inquiry Change in Response Media 12/2001 - 12/2005 Rami responses An Example - Sale Inquiry Change in Response Media 12/2001 - 12/2005 Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 14

Costs - Investment and Maintenance The costs have dropped by 60 -70% during the Costs - Investment and Maintenance The costs have dropped by 60 -70% during the last few years n Average investment cost per new EDR -solution (today) n An outside service provider: was EUR 5000 l In-house solution (XCola): less than 150 hours of work l n Maintenance costs of EDR solution per year (today) An outside service provider: was EUR 1000 l In-house solution (XCola): less than 50 hours of work l n During the first and second phases the total resource input was about 2, 5 person years (“learning by doing”) Included the development of a secure communication environment l Included the implementation of 7 solutions l Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 15

An Example - Work Done in Development and Maintenance of An EDR Solution (Sale An Example - Work Done in Development and Maintenance of An EDR Solution (Sale Inquiry) hours Includes hours used in development of infrastrucre 2002 2003 2004 2005 Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 16

Challenges - In-house Development and Maintenance The development of surveys can be very fast Challenges - In-house Development and Maintenance The development of surveys can be very fast if the IT personnel have good skills in XML and related techniques n At the moment the number of very skilled survey developers is limited n The whole production environment around XCola is not yet finished n l n Somewhat dependent on certain named persons The statistics departments typically have a lot of requirements for the surveys l Some minor development in XCola is needed all the time Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 17

Pilot - Integrated Data Collection (Tourism) n Data are delivered directly from hotel management Pilot - Integrated Data Collection (Tourism) n Data are delivered directly from hotel management systems into our database l No manual work needed (except to initiate the transfer) After their reception data are submitted to the standard validation process n Software vendors implement a module for the hotel’s management software using Statistics Finland’s definitions for data and service interface n Implemented using typical B 2 B integration technique: XML Web Services n Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 18

Near Future - Productisation and Integration More integrated data collections? n Co-operation with management Near Future - Productisation and Integration More integrated data collections? n Co-operation with management system providers Project for productisation of XCola (since June 2006) n Has already been made (Xcola v. 3. 1): Developer’s manual, finalised administration tools l Routines for transfers between collection and production databases l XCola version for outside evaluation has been built l n Under development l Graphical editor for building questionnaires and links to metadata Project for co-ordination of business surveys n In the future more co-ordinated surveys - instead of many independent surveys targeted towards businesses Rami Peltola August 9 th 2006 19