1504.0 - Methodological News, Jun 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/03/2004   
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March 2003 saw the successful launching of the first Statistical Services Branch (SSB) Survey Methodology Workshop held at ABS House in Canberra

All methodologists, including those located in the Regional Offices, were invited to attend. The workshop was viewed as a collective learning process, not an expert-to-expert workshop. To this end, many participants were invited to share methodological issues of current relevance.
A wide variety of sessions were presented. The sessions were arranged in terms of major themes as follows:

Strategic directions for methodological development.

  • Confidentiality and Data Access - This included an overview of basic strategies and methodological issues; and risk assessment for CURFs (Confidentialised Unit Record Files).
  • Sample frame and sample design - Presentations covered frame issues; synchronised selection; dependent source feedback; maximal brewer method of sample design; and multiple frames.
  • Regression estimation - The main focus of this theme was GREG (generalised regression) estimation. Other topics covered were the use of across stratum or within stratum estimation in Average Weekly Earnings; integrated weighting; and defence force personnel in labour force supplementary surveys.
  • Synthetic estimation - Overview; state estimation for the Economic Activity Survey and for the Mining and Utilities Survey.
  • Editing - Besides editing in general, this theme particularly focussed on significance editing.
  • Time Series Analysis (TSA) - As well as a general overview of TSA, presentations included a demonstration of SEASABS; use of REGARIMA and model choice techniques; analysis of Labour Force Survey supplementary effects; and a discussion of ways forward for TSA to better measure the real world.

The format of the workshop included presentations, discussions and demonstrations, where appropriate. The workshop provided an excellent technical training opportunity, particularly for Regional Office methodologists. It had a great atmosphere of interaction and discussion amongst all attendees which was a real positive of the workshop. As well as the scheduled morning and afternoon teas, there were two dinners, which were excellent times to meet/re-meet fellow methodologists. As the majority of the presentations were computer presentations, the slides and other related material were, in the main, documented and placed on an MD (Methodology Division) database. This will provide a ready source of information for attendees and also for future MD staff.

For further information please contact Paul Sutcliffe on (02) 6252 6759 or, Geneal Andersen (07) 3222 6209.

E-mail : p.sutcliffe@abs.gov.au