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SARs User Meeting 2009 23 April 2009 Developing a case for the 2011 SARs Keith Dugmore Demographic Decisions.

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Presentation on theme: "SARs User Meeting 2009 23 April 2009 Developing a case for the 2011 SARs Keith Dugmore Demographic Decisions."— Presentation transcript:

1 SARs User Meeting 2009 23 April 2009 Developing a case for the 2011 SARs Keith Dugmore Demographic Decisions

2 Introduction An independent view Commissioned by University of Manchester A business case aimed at the Census Offices, plus ESRC Theres already extensive literature Interviews & discussions with > 50 users, potential users, & Census Office staff (Thank you) Report completed (it gives more detail) + 2 issues of special interest……. # # #

3 The potential value of the 2011 Census Censuses as unique sources of information 2011 cost: £568m Outputs: published tables, bespoke tables, microdata, + the Longitudinal Study Sample surveys as alternatives? Administrative sources as alternatives? Census: high cost, but massive amounts of reliable and detailed information for small populations and small areas

4 1991 Census SARs files

5 2001 Census SARs files Geographical detail SAMS Individual Subject detail Household NationalRegionalLocal Authority Special License CAMS – Individual and Household End User License Secure laboratory

6 Use of SARs 1991 and 2001 Publications: 1991 c.400; 2001 c.60 to date

7 2001 SARs – barriers to use c.f. 1991 1991 was so simple & straightforward, compared to 2001 You need the dataset on your desktop to learn about it and experiment I haven't used the 2001 SARs; the bureaucracy was just too slow to get much use out of it. I used the 1991 SARs as virtually an immediately accessible resource CAMS is a real pain – it really does stop you developing your research Research productivity increases 100-fold if you have the data on your desktop CAMS is a big turnoff – travelling from Newcastle to London for 2 days – unless its a large project Its sad in comparison to 1991 – you do what you can with the data you can get, so Ive used the Labour Force Survey rather than 2001 SARs CAMS is unbelievably bureaucratic and difficult – this discourages people from using it. It took me 6 months to get to the data Because staff at ONS dont use the Census data, perhaps they dont appreciate these things

8 2001 SARs: the benefits Academic projects & funding Joseph Rowntree projects Many other organisations – 6 case studies: –Joseph Rowntree & DWP – labour market –GfK NOP – market research –University of Leeds – microsimulation –Scottish Executive – health comparisons –Carers UK – characteristics of carers –Office of the First Minister & DFM, Northern Ireland….


10 Census microdata files in other countries CCSR Conference, September 2008 Compare & contrast: –Canada –Australia –France –USA –Etc. IPUMS – an international perspective: USA: No need for a license, fantastic detail, used by schoolchildren aged 12

11 Looking ahead – users needs for 2011 Census information 1.Published tables 2.Bespoke tables 3.Published SARs 4.Bespoke SARs (linking to other sources) SARs attractions Large numbers (>600,000) Convenience – if on own PC No / low cost (c.f. tables) Speed / Quick queries Exploration (c.f. ordering table) Testing before ordering tables Rich & flexible data Modelling Additional variables Compatibility with 2011 tables Time series 1991 / 2001 / 2011

12 Also, strategic needs Joseph Rowntree Foundation Equality & Human Rights Commission National Data Strategy ONSs statistical priorities Plus: Needs of National Statistical Institutes

13 The broader UK policy context – statistics for the public good Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 –Statistics that serve the public good The Code of Practice –Principle 1. Meeting user needs –Principle 5. Confidentiality, including: –Ensure that arrangements for confidentiality are sufficient to protect the privacy of individual information, but not so restrictive as to limit unduly the practical utility of official statistics. –Protocol 3. The use of administrative sources for statistical purposes

14 Minimising the risk of disclosure – technical approaches Limited datasets? (Safe data) Limited people? (Safe researchers / analysts) Limited locations? (Safe settings) Licensing limitations? (Safe terms & conditions)

15 SARs 2011 – seeking the best balances between risk and utility

16 Data utility?? # # # The utility of microdata that has undergone Statistical Disclosure Limitation methods is based on whether statistical inference can be carried out and the same analysis and conclusions drawn on the perturbed data to the original data. This approach was developed when ONS was seeking to establish the extent to which data could be damaged without rendering it useless

17 Utility "That property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness…….It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong. Jeremy Bentham. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)

18 Utility and Accessibility Accessibility EasyDifficult Utility – numbers of users and uses Few Many

19 Utility – Maximise or Minimise? Utility – numbers of users and uses Few Many Accessibility

20 Different SARs for different uses – a recommended way ahead A range of uses A. SARs Popular products –A1. Individual Subject –A2. Individual Local Areas B. SARs Professional products –B1. Individual Subject, with Local Areas –B2. Household –(+ possible bespokes) C. Microdata Laboratory Facility –VML + SDS

21 Different SARs for different uses: Recommended 2011 Census SARs files Geographical detail A2 Individual: Local A1 Individual: Subject Subject detail B2 Household NationalRegionalLocal Authority Special License Microdata Laboratory Facility (not a SARs data product) End User License Data Access Agreement B1 Individual: Subject + Local

22 198119912001 Occasional & New Mainstream Analysts Census Specialists Census users – the growing pyramid Numbers of users, and their expertise A vision and roadmap for 2011 SARs

23 Making the vision work in practice – a roadmap A range of data products Product release dates User advice, training and support for products Encouraging specialist SARs analysis services Marketing Many commissioners of government research are unaware of SARs Its hard to overestimate how much you need to sell, sell, sell to make people aware The message that using SARs is better than carrying out expensive new surveys is not getting through to LAs Its necessary to get SARs out there, into the mainstream Local Authorities have less time – we would like to turn experts to analyse SARs

24 The business case

25 The business case – Potential Benefits 2001: –Academic projects, & use by many other organisations 2011: –Users needs for information, & strategic / policy needs Cash values? –ESRC research grants (c.£1.5m 1991/2001) –ESRC SARs support funding (c.£1.45m 2000/6) –Joseph Rowntree Foundation (c.£0.5m 2001) –Northern Ireland OFM & DFM (triggered $150m) –+ Depts. such as DWP – say 1% better targeting?

26 Total costs of 2001 Census, England & Wales # # #

27 Production costs of 1991 & 2001 SARs

28 Outline costs of 2011 SARs (borne by Census Offices & ESRC) Plus similar support for a Microdata Laboratory Facility?

29 In summary Amount invested in 2011 Census: £568m Proven benefits of 1991 & 2001 SARs files Cost of SARs files & support: £1.0-1.5m Similar support for a laboratory facility Approximately 0.5% of the total Census budget Statistics for the public good Maximise the returns on the Census investment, given that the marginal costs of disseminating outputs are so small Some specific recommendations…

30 Recommendations 1.The Census offices should create a family of SARs products 2.UKSA should develop more sophisticated measures of practical Utility that can be weighed against those for Risk 3.The Census Offices should reflect on the weighing of Risk and Utility for 2001 SARs, and whether this might be shifted a little for 2011 4.The Census Offices should develop a roadmap / plan for SARs to achieve their full potential

31 Keith Dugmore Demographic Decisions Ltd. Tel: 020 7834 0966 Email: Web:

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