2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2016   
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Data processing

Data processing

Processing the Census includes all steps from receipt of Census responses in either online or in paper form through to the production of a clean Census data file.

A Data Capture Centre (DCC) was established to capture and process the data from the paper forms. Data will be captured and processed using the same technologies as in 2011, namely imaging
and Intelligent Character Recognition for paper forms, and an online instrument for electronic collection. A Data Operation Centre has been established and is responsible for processing, coding, imputation, editing, quality assurance and dissemination of 2016 Census Data.

Processing of data will proceed as follows:

Receipt and registration of forms: Upon arrival at the DCC, Census forms will have their Form ID electronically captured. This information will be immediately communicated to Field Staff to eliminate contact with people once their forms are submitted and received. Follow-up of missing forms will be rigorous to ensure coverage is complete.

Data capture: Forms will be scanned and a reconciliation process conducted to ensure that all forms which have been received at the DCC have been captured.

Coding: All responses on the Census form are coded from indexes. Coding techniques include automatic, computer assisted and manual coding.

Imputation: Imputation is a statistical process for predicting values where no response was provided to a question and a response could not be derived. Where no Census form is returned, the number of males and females in 'non-contact' private dwellings that are thought to be occupied will be imputed. In addition, these key demographic variables; age, place of usual residence, registered marital status and sex may be imputed, if they are 'Not stated'.

Editing: Editing is a process that looks to correct errors in the data and will be undertaken as part of the validation strategy to produce a consistent, valid dataset. The kinds of error which editing procedures can detect are limited to responses and/or codes which are invalid, or which are in conflict with Census definitions.

Quality Assurance: A variety of quality assurance measures will be implemented across the various systems and processes throughout the processing cycle. This will provide an accurate, consistent and coherent final Census output file.

For further information, see Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016 (cat. no. 2008.0).

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