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1504.0 - Methodological News, Mar 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/06/2004   
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MAKING QUALITY VISIBLE USING THE QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE SYSTEM

The Quality Infrastructure System is an integrated infrastructure that will allow the capture, storage and use of quality measures over the end to end business processes of both PSG and ESG. QIS is a key enabler of making the quality of statistical processes and products visible within and between collections and collection cycles.

Broadly, the aims of the QIS are that:

  • the performance of statistical processing functions is readily understood;
  • the quality of statistical outputs is readily understood;
  • users can drill down to understand why performance, or quality, is what it is;
  • the ABS can manage quality and processes more efficiently; and
  • users (either internal or external) can prepare reports on performance and quality that Make Quality Visible.

The QIS project has a strong metadata focus. While quality measures are a class of metadata in themselves, they require their own definitional and operational metadata. The Methodology Division will act as the registration authority for standard quality measures. This will aid in consistency and comparability across collections. Users will, of course, be still able to define their own custom measures.

Current development of QIS has resulted in a repository for the storage of quality measures. The repository is built around a dimensional model similar to that used in the Input Data Warehouse. This model allows for a variety of different types and levels of quality measures to be stored for both economic and household collections.

Existing ABS systems are being modified to enable quality measures to be loaded by a single data service to the repository. This service has been proven by storing messages sent from a test of Business Process Mapping in the Economic Activity Survey. Towards the end of 2003/2004 other ABS systems, including EPICS, QAWS and ABSEst will be enabled to send messages to the data service. The goal is to provide a robust infrastructure for existing systems to efficiently and painlessly hook into.

The repository can be accessed by on-line analytical products, such as Oracle Discoverer or SAS. Development towards the end of 2003/2004 will see the development of services that will access end of cycle quality measures and automatically load them to the Collection Management System. Further development will result in making Quality Measures accessible and available across the end to end business process. This will include desktop access to quality measures of interest, regular customised reports and automatic generation of documentation for the survey clearance process.

For more information, please contact Tenniel Guiver 02 6252 7310, or Email: tenniel.guiver@abs.gov.au.

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