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1 Using Paradata to Monitor and Improve the Collection Process in Annual Business Surveys
My presentation will be on the use of paradata… By Sylvie DeBlois, Statistics Canada Rose-Carline Evra, Statistics Canada ICES-III, Montreal, June 19th, 2007

2 OUTLINE Introduction Score Function Paradata
Score Function Recent Update Future Developments I will talk about the score function a tool that allows us to establish follow-up procedures for cases of non response during collection and recent update made to it. I will also talk about paradata use in the score function and paradata that could possibly be used. I will end my presentation by enumerating some of the future developments for the UES collection improvement. I will start… toll use during collection to monitor follow-ups.. Then.. Followed by a section on …. & … finally…

3 Introduction The Unified Enterprise Survey (UES) is an annual economic survey on financial and characteristic variables, which has been conducted by Statistics Canada since It combines many surveys. Average collection period: February to early October Collection Processing System: Blaise More than 48,000 questionnaires each year. For RY 1997 data… Blaise allows us to keep track of the # of attempts, type of contact with the respondent, priorities,.. Use by interwiewers…

4 UES Questionnaire UES includes Services, Trades, Manufactures, Agriculture (aquaculture) and Transportation (couriers and taxi & limousine) surveys. A questionnaire has about 7 to 10 sections (the number of sections varies depending on the survey): Introduction (Stats Act - Confidentiality, Respondent info) Revenue Expenses Events that may have affected business units Comments

5 Introduction Collection Process: Mail-out of questionnaires Follow-up in case of non-response for some units / Mail-back of questionnaires Verification of received questionnaires / Edits Coding of questionnaires Imaging & Data Capture Sometimes during the collection period, follow-ups are required due to non-response. The score function is used to determine the priority of an enterprise in follow-up.

6 Introduction Collection follow-up tool: Score function (SF)
Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) score function Non-ASM score function Both score functions have their own ways of calculating scores, defining cells and priorities. This presentation will focus mainly on the Non-ASM score function.

7 Score Function Reduces collection costs yet retains data quality.
Similar to the collection goal of obtaining a high weighted coverage response rate. PRIORITY 1: Extensive follow-up for the larger revenue Collection Entities (CE) in cases of non-response. PRIORITY 0: Minimum follow-up for the smaller CE’s in cases of non-response. Every collection entity (questionnaire) will be assigned a priority. The entity with a high weighted revenue… which mean they will have an extensive follow up.

8 Useful definitions Cell
NAICS = YYYYY PROV = AA Cell Sampling Unit (part of the enterprise within the cell) Establishment NAICS: North American Industry Classification System (5-digit number) A B C Now, I will present you some useful definition These are general definitions more precisions will come later… Cell: combinaisons naics*prov ou naics*prov*strate according to the survey Moins vite… D E

9 Method: Initial Scores
Within each cell, calculate the score for each UES sampling unit (SU). Score = the sample weighted revenue of the SU as a percentage of the cell’s total revenue. Sample weight: UES sampling weight Revenue: Sampling Revenue Explain the difference between long and char… Char: smaller questionnaire (no revenue question)

10 Method: Initial Scores
Cell: For Distributive Trades & Aquaculture: NAICS * Province For Transportation: NAICS*Prov*Stratum(Take All /Take Some) For Services: NAICS*Prov*Stratum(TA /TS)* Type of questionnaire (long / characteristic)

11 Method: Initial Scores
Within each cell Sort SUs by descending score Cumulate to the survey’s target coverage threshold for the Priority=1s, and the rest are Priority=0s.

12 Method: Dynamic Scores
During collection process, twice a week, we: receive updated response codes; recalculate the scores within the cell (i.e. make it dynamic) to update priorities; update priorities on Blaise, the collection tool. Operation, Research and Development Division

13 Method: Dynamic Scores
As collection proceeds: Response (received or completed) questionnaires contribute to the cell threshold Non-response questionnaires contribute nothing to the threshold Out-of-scope are removed entirely from the cell (reduces the cell’s revenue total) In-Progress questionnaires are still being collected (include appointments) In-Progress: case still open to be classified as being resp, non-rsep or OOS I’ll talk more about the appointment later

14 During Collection New total weighted revenue for the CELL (exclude the OOS). Priority 1’s or 0’s received or completed contribute to reaching the CELL threshold. CELL: XXXXXXXX Total: 475,000k Received or Completed 15% reached In progress Priority 1 50% left to do Threshold= 65% (308,750k) In progress Priority 0 All larger in progress units will receive a priority 1… NON-RESPONSE OOS 50,000k

15 Method: Dynamic Scores
Has the cell reached its threshold? If yes, stop follow-up. If no, recalculate scores using In-progress units and the remaining threshold. Some cells must close due to lack of In-Progress questionnaires Some In-progress Priority 0s may be promoted to Priority 1s. The priorities are updated within the cell by… Yes => priority 0 for all the cell units…

16 Paradata Definition: All variables directly related to data collection process Currently used: Response code Appointment reason (edit – data collection) Appointment date (recently added) Currently used only by Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM): Number of attempts, commodity revenue and shipment revenue Could possibly be used: Type of contact with the respondent Previous year’s response code Type of reminder sent / Date / # (mail, r ,…) Others Paradata: not collected via the respondent Response codes used to classify units… Type of contact: answering machine, secretary,… Attempts: to reduce scores

17 Score Function Recent Update
Recently, a study was done on the impact of appointments on the response rate (for reference year 2003). Following our findings the “appointment date” was added as paradata into the score function. APPOINTMENT: During collection, in a telephone follow-up, an enterprise can ask for a delay to complete their questionnaire. Later you will find that an appointment means many things…

18 Appointments: The Study
During the collection period, an appointment might be scheduled with the respondent. “Does the fact of having a appointment affect the response rate?” Note: When an appointment is made and it’s a priority 1 questionnaire, it remains in the SF with a priority 1 with the “still in progress status”. Therefore, no priority 0 will be put as priority 1. During collection, in a telephone follow-up, an enterprise can ask for a delay to complete their questionnaire. I would like to mention that when an enterprise ask for an appointment the quest Keeps its priority in the SF. Which means that no priority 0 will be promoted to 1 Toreplce a quest with an app which is pr=1 We made a study to establish the impact of appointments to the response rates

19 Response Rates: app versus no app
The response rate is significantly lower for the questionnaires with an appointment. RY2003 (Non-ASM surveys) Response rate= collection rates for quest using the score function quest: exclude ASM & characteristic questionnaires and all other questionnaires not included in the score function (Not collected by Operation & Integration Division (OID))

20 Response Rates: Scheduling of the appointment
The response rate is significantly lower for questionnaires when the appointment is made toward the end of the collection period. Response rate according to the time the app was schedule during collection

21 Other Facts The longer a questionnaire stays in appointment, the greater is the probability of that questionnaire being a non-response at the end of the collection period. 23.8% of the questionnaires with appointments were classified as non-respondent, because at the end of the collection period their cases were still open.

22 Appointment: Conclusion
When possible, we should avoid making an appointment. Especially, at the end of the collection period. In cases of appointments, follow-up should occur soon after the appointment is made. An appointment is still a good way of improving the response rates. The treatment of the appointments in the score function should be modified. Extra “In progress” units will be promoted to priority 1 in order to compensate for possible non-response. Some unit will see their priority go from 0 to 1 to compensate for the possible non response Which led us to modify our treatment of…

23 Facts / Findings A unit may not have an appointment date or may have one that is constantly changing. Many appointment dates are within a few weeks. It was decided to only consider units that have a late appointment date, and there are not many. Here are some of our findings after introducing the changes for the current collection cycle (RY2006)… Appointment = R , refax,… Why only late app are considered? Most likely to be nonrespondent..

24 Facts / Findings An appointment can mean many things.
Many unexpected factors caused the changes to be less efficient than initially expected.

25 Human Errors The interviewer:
Enters the wrong value for a variable (for example, appointment reason) Does not update a key variable (for example, appointment date)

26 System Problems System Failures Files not properly loaded
As a result, some variables are affected, like the number of attempts. Files not properly loaded Missing values or variables Some follow-up events occur outside of the system

27 Theoretical / Practical
Appointment date is also used to set the “r ” (r of questionnaire) and fax date. Also, some appointment dates are default dates (differ from survey to survey). Appointment is also used as a reminder to the interviewer to call a respondent unavailable at the moment of the initial call. Aside from the operational issues, we have theoretical versus practical issues… These are all the difficulties that we can encounter when using paradata…

28 Future Developments Establish what is really an appointment; do more studies on the appointments. Study more paradata to “quantify” the importance of each unit, give priority and improve the score function. Introduction of a cost function to help assign the priority and the type of follow-up. Combine the ASM score function and the Non-ASM score function. Cost function: allows to evaluate the average cost of follow-up for a unit (cost of sending a fax,…)

29 Thank You / Merci!!! Questions ???
Pour plus d’information veuillez contacter / For more information, please contact: ou / or

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