Statistics: Power from Data!
3 Data gathering and processing

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Section 2 described who in society is gathering and using data, and for which purposes. Then the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of traditional collection methods were compared. Finally, examples were given of alternative sources of data recently used at Statistics Canada.

Of all these types of data, sample surveys are the most frequently used for producing statistical information about the Canadian society. However, they require careful planning as well as tried and tested methods to select a sample and to carry collection operations. Therefore, the first three subsections of Section 3 are mostly devoted to sample surveys while the rest of the subsections on processing, estimation and quality management can potentially apply to all types of data.

Figure 3.1 summarizes the different steps of data collection, data processing and estimation that will be explored in this section.

Figure 1 The different steps of data collection, data processing and estimation

Description for Figure 3.1

The figure shows three boxes linked with arrows. The first box corresponding to data collection includes the following elements: sampling, collection, questionnaire and interviewers. The second box corresponding to data processing includes coding, capture, edit, imputation and linkage. The last box corresponding to estimation includes weighting, variance estimation and adjustments.


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