Purpose: The purpose of this standard is to ensure that methods are established and implemented to promote the accurate correction of missing and erroneous values in survey, census, and administrative records data through editing and imputation.
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 editing and imputation operations for survey, census, administrative records data, and geospatial data.
In addition to the global exclusions listed in the Preface, this standard does not apply to:
Key Terms: Editing, imputation, outliers, skip pattern, and truth deck.
Requirement C2-1: Throughout all processes associated with editing and imputation, 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 C2-2: A plan must be developed that addresses:
Requirement C2-3: Data must be edited and imputed using statistically sound practices, based on available information.
Sub-Requirement C2-3.1: Specifications and procedures for the editing and imputation operations must be developed and implemented to detect and correct errors or missing data in the files.
Examples of issues that specifications and procedures might address include:
Sub-Requirement C2-3.2: Editing and imputation 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 C2-3.3: Systems and procedures must be developed and implemented to monitor and evaluate the quality of the editing and imputation operations and to take corrective actions if problems are identified.
Examples of monitoring and evaluation activities include:
Requirement C2-4: Documentation needed to replicate and evaluate the editing and imputation 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: