Integrated statistical information (SIIE)
According to international standards, the modernization of the production of official statistics is, among other things, the integration of various sources of statistical information, in contrast to the traditional method, often called the stovepipe approach (an isolated approach to operations).
Currently, the sources of statistical information are those of administrative origin, coming from our own surveys or from others and, eventually, the data generated by public or private companies.
The aim of the Integrated Statistical Information System (SIIE) is to make it possible for two or more sources of similar or varied origins to be used in conjunction with one another when required by an official statistical operation. The SIIE was created under the 23/1998 law, on statistics in Catalonia, and we are now developing the 21st century version.
To achieve this goal, in the last few years Idescat has been working on two parallel lines or paths: the technological line (with the construction of the Cerdà Platform) and the statistical process line (with the Qualitas Project).
2. Cerdà Platform
The Cerdà Platform master plan was approved in 2014 and the Platform's construction began in 2015. The first statistics (in the tourism area) were published in 2017; these can be viewed by means of the first version of the platform's data viewer. The core of the Statistical Population Register was also developed in the same year and that of the Statistical Territory Register in 2018. The project's development is continuing in 2019 with new components, such as an API that can automate the downloading of statistical data and a new version of the viewer that allows the data to be visualized on charts.
In order to achieve the integration of the information, the Cerdà Platform has structured the process of the statistical information conceptually in four phases:
- Data capture: ensures that all the statistical information that enters Idescat, after going through the necessary validation processes, is registered and stored in an orderly way.
- Integration of the information: coding of all the information according to the basic statistical registers, official classification and the tools available. To preserve statistical confidentiality, the identifying information of statistical subjects (people, companies, organizations or territorial elements) is separated from the rest of the information and kept apart in an area subject to special security measures and controlled access, in accordance with the 23/1998 law, on statistics in Catalonia.
- Generation of statistical products: to the extent necessary for the development, preparation and dissemination of official statistics, information coming from different sources or other operations to produce the desired results is crossed. At this stage the protocols necessary to preserve privacy and statistical confidentiality are also applied.
- Access to data: adaptation of the information, with statistical purposes,to the different target to which it is directed. Each type of target person requires a different way of dealing with the information, the level of disaggregation, the territorial detail, the levels of security etc. From the work of technicians at Idescat (who can have full access to the data) to the publication of the data on the web (which are totally open data) different protocols for the dissemination of information is defined.
3. Qualitas Project
As explained in the introduction, the Qualitas Project consists of the description of statistical processes adapted to an integrated information environment. In order to achieve maximum efficiency in statistical production, it is necessary that all the available information works together in describing a complex and changing social and economic reality.
In a first phase, the Qualitas Project has carried out a full and accurate description of the processes in which Idescat is working, using the GSBPM model, as a guide, an international standard developed and adopted by the OECD, Eurostat and the UNECE. The transformation and integration into the Cerdà Platform is being worked on, based on some 70 projects already documented.
The aim of the Qualitas Project is twofold: on the one hand, to use the detailed documentation of the processes to ensure quality (relevance, timeliness, efficiency, accuracy and reliability, coherence and comparability, accessibility and clarity); and on the other hand, to provide a guide and control, at different levels, regarding the following aspects:
- The automation of the phases of the process where possible.
- The people involved in the process.
- Improving and taking advantage of interaction between the different processes.
- The experts interested in the details of the development of statistics.
- The client potentially interested in the information produced.