Regardless of the level of aggregation envisaged for the dissemination of statistics, data should be captured, classified and stored at the base level of the classification wherever possible. Collecting and storing data at the most detailed level of the classification allows the greatest flexibility for the output of statistics, enables more detailed and complex analyses, facilitates comparisons with previous data using different classifications, and preserves information that provides maximum flexibility for future use of the data.
However, the constraints affecting each statistical collection or other application, such as problems with confidentiality or standard errors, may not permit the collection or output of data at the lower levels of the classification. Nevertheless, the use of a standard classification will enhance data comparability even though it may not always be possible to disseminate data at the most detailed level.
The hierarchical structure of the classification allows users the flexibility to output statistics at the level of the classification which best suits their particular purposes. Data can be presented at Broad Group level, Narrow Group level, or the base or Language level. If necessary, significant Languages within a Narrow Group can be presented separately while the remaining Languages within the Narrow Group are aggregated. The same principle can be adopted to highlight significant Narrow Groups within a Broad Group.