Courrier des statistiques N3 - 2019

Issue N3 dedicates no fewer than six articles to innovation in official statistics. The arrival of scaner data will make the Consumer Price Index (CPI) methodology evolve from 2020 onwards. The Secure Data Access Centre (CASD) is also innovating in the certification of research based on confidential data. There is further innovation to develop the platform for collecting data from businesses via the internet, with an automatic generator and a questionnaire design tool, enhancing the range of services available for business surveys. Lastly, based on a shared foundation, two new European regulations on business (FRIBS) and social (IESS) statistics will have specific consequences for producers, users and cohesion between domains; this issue presents the progress this represents for INSEE, as well as for the German statistical system.

Courrier des statistiques
Paru le :Paru le22/06/2021
Odile Rascol, Chief Editor, INSEE
Courrier des statistiques- June 2021

Presentation of the Issue

Odile Rascol, Chief Editor, INSEE

The general theme than runs through this third issue is innovation – innovation on methods and IT tools, and also on legal matters.

But how does an innovation come about? Former Director of Business Statistics Jean-Marc Béguin (the article is available in French) retraces INSEE’s journey to design and build an entire ecosystem around the web platform for business surveys, arguing that in order to effect real change, we sometimes need to move away from traditional approaches, taking advantage of opportunities as they arise.

So what are these innovations? Heïdi Koumarianos and Éric Sigaud present Eno, a very general tool used, among other things, to automatically generate data collection tools corresponding to different data collection modes (web, paper, face-to-face, etc.). Its input is a questionnaire tailored according to metadata complying with international standards. Writing metadata requires particular technical expertise, which should not be imposed on the survey designer – hence the value of an ergonomic application that enables statisticians to produce metadata easily. This is precisely the role of Pogues. Here, Franck Cotton and Thomas Dubois explain the application’s logic and features.

Lastly, Anne Husseini-Skalitz and Olivier Haag present the internet data collection platform, known as Coltrane, and its main services. The system as a whole is underpinned by a more fundamental goal: to be able to activate metadata with the aim of steering statistical production processes (and especially the initial phases). In other words, Coltrane, Eno and Pogues are closely linked and readers will find that the various papers overlap to a certain extent.

Another innovation, also involving the data collection process, is the use of big data – specifically, scanner data – as a partial basis for producing the consumer price index (CPI) from 2020 onwards. Marie Leclair highlights the range of possibilities now open to INSEE with these new data, but also considers the challenges they raise and the solutions provided, both for the CPI and for other future uses that may be made of this new type of data source.

A statistical output is relevant only if users are able to use it. With this in mind, Kamel Gadouche reconsiders how official statistics are currently made available to researchers and data scientists. Nearly ten years after its creation, the Secure Data Access Centre (Centre d’accès sécurisé aux données, or CASD) continues to grow in international stature, offering a major innovation this year in the form of a certification system for research based on confidential data.

Lastly, Europe is more than ever at the heart of this third issue, with a deep reform of the legal framework governing statistical activities currently underway. The legal basis to the European Statistical System is undergoing cross-cutting changes. Hervé Piffeteau examines the genesis of this process and its future prospects. But that is not all. Two long-awaited major pillars of European statistics are also being put in place. Christel Colin explains how the Framework Regulation Integrating Business Statistics (FRIBS), is designed to both unify and clarify the pre-existing patchwork of domain-specific regulations that has prevailed until now. Focusing on social statistics, Chantal Cases tells a similar story with the new IESS framework regulation. In both papers, the practical implications for users, for cost effectiveness and for INSEE are considered. In line with the previous issue, Jean-Pierre Cling and Véronique Alexandre (the article is available in French) conclude with a presentation of Germany’s statistical system, where European regulatory developments have helped to improve the structure of the national system, introducing a degree of flexibility into the German legislative framework.

Paru le :22/06/2021