There are a range of other potential errors that are not caused by sampling and can occur in any statistical collection, whether it is based on full enumeration, a sample, or modelling. Non-sampling error may be due to inadequacies in available sources from which the population frame was compiled, imperfections in reporting by providers, errors made in collections such as recording and coding data, and errors made in processing data.
Although it is not possible to quantify non-sampling error, every effort is made to reduce it to a minimum. Collection forms are designed to be easy to complete and assist businesses to report accurately. Efficient and effective operating procedures and systems are used to compile the statistics. The ABS compares data from different ABS (and non-ABS) sources relating to the one industry, to ensure consistency and coherence.
If non-sampling error is systematic (i.e. not random) then the estimates will be distorted in one direction and therefore will be unrepresentative of the target population. Systematic error results in bias.