Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that methods are established and implemented to promote the accurate assignment of codes, including geographic entity codes, to enable analysis and tabulation of data.
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 the development and implementation of post-collection coding operations, including the assignment of:
In addition to the global exclusions listed in the Preface, this standard does not apply to:
Key Terms: American National Standards Institute codes (ANSI codes), coding, geocoding, geographic entity code (geocode), Master Address File (MAF), North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Standard Occupational Classification System (SOC), and Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER).
Requirement C3-1: Throughout all processes associated with coding, 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 C3-2: A plan must be developed that addresses:
Requirement C3-3: Processes must be developed and implemented to accurately assign codes for converting text and numerical data to categories and geocodes to identify and distinguish geographic entities and their attributes within a digital database.
Sub-Requirement C3-3.1: Specifications and procedures for the coding systems and operations must be developed and implemented.
Examples of issues that coding specifications and procedures might address include:
Sub-Requirement C3-3.2: Standardized codes, when appropriate, must be used to convert text data.
Examples of current coding standards include:
Sub-Requirement C3-3.3: Coding systems must be verified and tested to ensure that all components function as intended.
Examples of verification and testing activities include:
Sub-Requirement C3-3.4: Training for staff involved in clerical coding operations (as identified during planning) must be developed and provided.
Sub-Requirement C3-3.5: Systems and procedures must be developed and implemented to monitor and evaluate the quality of the coding operations and to take corrective actions if problems are identified.
Examples of monitoring and evaluation activities include:
Requirement C3-4: Documentation needed to replicate and evaluate the coding 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: