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Respondent Acceptance of Web and E-mail Data Reporting for an Establishment Survey Richard Rosen, Louis Harrell, Hong Yu Division of Current Employment.

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Presentation on theme: "Respondent Acceptance of Web and E-mail Data Reporting for an Establishment Survey Richard Rosen, Louis Harrell, Hong Yu Division of Current Employment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Respondent Acceptance of Web and E-mail Data Reporting for an Establishment Survey Richard Rosen, Louis Harrell, Hong Yu Division of Current Employment Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics Third International Conference on Establishment Surveys Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 18-21, 2007

2 Current Employment Statistics (CES) Monthly survey of employment, payroll, and hours A Federal-State cooperative system A sample of 300,000 business establishments CES data are published after only 10-14 days of collection Provides key economic indicators  Employment by industry, state, and area  Average hourly earnings  Average weekly hours

3 Goals/Objectives Explore different methods of distributing and collecting CES reports Utilize existing technology Minimize respondent burden

4 Software Used off-the-shelf software SurveyTracker from Training Technologies Inc. The software package costs around $3800

5 Phases of e-mail collection Form design Distribution Respondent’s e-mail box Retrieval Export

6 Survey Tracker

7 Design

8 CES Form Design

9 Distribution

10 Respondent’s E-mail Box

11 Confirmation Screen

12 Response

13 Retrieval


15 Export The software exports by comma separated value format Read into SAS program and export into the format of choice

16 Advantages Ubiquitousness of e-mail The prevalence of e-mail in everyday life is such that almost anybody with a phone line and a minimal cost to sign up for internet service allow individuals to get an e-mail address Using off-the-shelf software By utilizing off-the-shelf software to design and distribute the software, it saves the effort of re-inventing the wheel Low marginal cost Sending e-mails costs close to nothing Utilization of pre-existing infrastructure Utilization of pre-existing e-mail server as well as web server saves cost and time

17 Disadvantages No data edits Due to the security issues, no data edits will be performed by the e-mail SPAM blockers ISPs with aggressive SPAM blockers may flag the survey as SPAM Ill-formed data No easy way to account for respondent mistakes Reliance on software vendor Necessary to rely on the software vendor initiative to address the problems

18 Current Status Incorporated as one of the CES collection methods starting February 2007 Comparable to pre-existing collection methods Survey Tracker deemed to be not suitable, looking into another software package Inability to handle large database Compatibility issues  Minimum requirement: Outlook and Internet Explorer  Not all respondents who meet the minimum requirement can respond

19 Collection Rate Comparison AllTDEWebE-mail February73% 66%74% March68%73%64%67% April69% *60%70% *CES experienced web server problems during April 2007

20 E-Mail Collection Data Item Response Rate WWAEPRAEHRGMEPWPRHR 90%76%70%74%80%60%59%

21 CES and Web CES has been collecting data via Internet since 1996 (first Federal Agency) BLS Developed an Enterprise level Internet Facility to promote:  Security and continuity of operations  Uniform standards for Web pages  Cross-survey participation

22 BLS Model Initial BLS Model Included: Digital Certificates Option to use an account number and password Password requirements are stringent  Min. 8 chars. Including letters, numbers, upper/lower case CES has experienced declining Web response, looking for something new …

23 TDE vs Web Response Rates

24 Issues with Current Web Site Transition to Web was complicated  Temporary Account/password  Permanent account/password or digital certificate Ongoing Reporting  Forgot account/password  Non-renewal of certificate/not portable Contact change/turnover  Lose continuity of knowledge on reporting  Need to re-issue account/certificate

25 Web-Lite Features No temporary account/password No permanent account/password No digital certificate Access gained through CES Report ID already on the CES form More-”TDE Like”

26 Web-Lite Design Compromises No respondent identifying information displayed Cannot update contact information on-line No historical data shown  Reduces visual continuity of reporting  Limits edit capability Cannot directly link to other BLS Web surveys

27 Security Site remains secure: SSL 128 bit encryption Data stored on separate server Firewall protects other BLS resources Use of CAPTCHA

28 What is CAPTCHA? Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. A trademarked acronym owned by Carnegie Mellon University. Used to determine whether a user is human or a robot. First developed in 1997, by Andrei Broder at Altavista.



31 Comparison of TDE and Web Response Rates, January 2004-March 2007

32 Sources of New Units Converted to Web Lite

33 Response Rate Comparison for TDE, Old Web, and Web Lite

34 Data Item Response Rates, Selected Items, March 2007 Women Workers Gross Month Earnings Total% Received DCC to Lite4,61152%45% State to Lite5153%27% TDE to Lite2,33162%47% Old Web to Lite34945%28% Old Web1,76044%25%

35 Conclusions If technical issues can be overcome, e-mail appears to be a viable collection method.  Response rates are favorable  Offers visual interface of web collection Research will continue on possible candidates for e-mail data collection software. Web offers on-line editing, and recent months had performance superior to TDE Web Lite offers improved item response rates

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