Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that methods are established and implemented to promote the collection of high quality data from respondents.
Scope: The Census Bureau’s statistical quality standards apply to all information products released by the Census Bureau and the activities that generate those products, including products released to the public, sponsors, joint partners, or other customers. All Census Bureau employees and Special Sworn Status individuals must comply with these standards; this includes contractors and other individuals who receive Census Bureau funding to develop and release Census Bureau information products.
In particular, this standard applies to establishing and implementing data collection methods for data programs that obtain information directly from respondents, including reimbursable surveys and surveys in which interviewers collect information from establishments.
In addition to the global exclusions listed in the Preface, this standard does not apply to:
Key Terms: CAPI, CATI, coverage, data collection, dress rehearsal, fax imaging, field test, load testing, mail-out/mail-back, measurement error, nonresponse bias, nonresponse follow-up, reinterview, response error, response rate, supplemental reinterview, systems test, and touch-tone data entry (TDE).
Requirement B1-1: Throughout all processes associated with data collection, unauthorized release of protected information or administratively restricted information must be prevented by following federal laws (e.g., Title 13, Title15, and Title 26), Census Bureau policies (e.g., Data Stewardship Policies), and additional provisions governing the use of the data (e.g., as may be specified in a memorandum of understanding or data-use agreement). (See Statistical Quality Standard S1, Protecting Confidentiality.)
Requirement B1-2: A plan must be developed that addresses:
Note: Statistical Quality Standard A1, Planning a Data Program, addresses overall planning requirements, including estimates of schedule and costs.
Requirement B1-3: Data collection methods must be designed and implemented in a manner that balances (within the constraints of budget, resources, and time) data quality and measurement error with respondent burden.
Sub-Requirement B1-3.1: Systems and procedures must be developed to implement the data collection.
Examples of data collection activities for which systems and procedures should be developed include:
Sub-Requirement B1-3.2: Data collection systems and methods must be verified and tested to ensure that all components function as intended.
Examples of verification and testing activities include:
Sub-Requirement B1-3.3: Training for field and headquarters staff involved in the data collection effort (as identified during planning) must be developed and provided.
Examples of training topics include:
Sub-Requirement B1-3.4: Systems and procedures must be developed and implemented to monitor and evaluate the data collection activities and to take corrective actions if problems are identified.
Examples of monitoring and evaluating activities include:
Requirement B1-4: Documentation needed to replicate and evaluate the data collection methods must be produced. The documentation must be retained, consistent with applicable policies and data-use agreements, and must be made available to Census Bureau employees who need it to carry out their work. (See Statistical Quality Standard S2, Managing Data and Documents.)
Examples of documentation include: