There are numerous issues to be aware of with the acquisition of administrative data, some of which have been covered. Along with determining the data requirements in order to assess administrative data sources prior to acquiring them it is important to think about the monitoring of the administrative data that is needed. This is to ensure its quality from the collection of the information by the data custodian, the hand over of the information and the subsequent processing of the data by the receiving agency.
In each of these scenarios it may be useful to have a monitoring device in place which reports timely information in order to assess whether the quality of the data and process are meeting the quality requirements.
The ABS uses a tool called Quality Gates to help manage statistical processes. Quality gates consist of a set of acceptance criteria imposed at predetermined points in a production process whereby each of the components (Placement, Quality Measures, Roles, Tolerance, Actions and Evaluation) play an important part in determining the fitness for purpose of the process. More information on the detail, use and implementation of quality gates can be found in the information paper "Quality Management of Statistical Processes Using Quality Gates, Dec 2010" (cat. no. 1540.0)".
Further information on managing the statistical processes of administrative data in a process cycle will be covered in detail in a future publication.
Administrative data is a useful resource for substituting and replacing direct collection of data. However, there are various issues that need to be considered and managed prior to its use in a receiving agency. Provided the receiving agency is aware of the issues and manages them appropriately then administrative data is a useful source of information which can save time, money and reduce respondent burden.