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Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that methods are established and implemented to promote the accurate capture and conversion of paper forms or image files into data files for further processing.
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 (SSS) 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 the development, modification, and implementation of post-collection data capture operations, such as:
In addition to the global exclusions listed in the Preface, this standard does not apply to:
Requirement C1-1: Throughout all processes associated with data capture, unauthorized release of protected information or administratively restricted information must be prevented by following federal laws (e.g., Title 13, Title 15, 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 C1-2: 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 C1-3: Data collected on paper forms or in image files must be converted accurately into an electronic format suitable for subsequent processing.
Sub-Requirement C1-3.1: Specifications and procedures for the data capture operations must be developed and implemented.
Examples of activities that specifications and procedures might address include:
Sub-Requirement C1-3.2: Data capture systems and procedures must be verified and tested to ensure that all components function as intended.
Examples of verification and testing activities include:
Sub-Requirement C1-3.3: Training for the staff (including SSS contractors) who perform the data capture operations (as identified during planning) must be developed and provided.
Sub-Requirement C1-3.4: Systems and procedures must be developed and implemented to monitor and evaluate the quality of the data capture operations and to take corrective actions if problems are identified.
Examples of monitoring and evaluation activities include:
Requirement C1-4: Documentation needed to replicate and evaluate the data capture operations 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: