9. Data dissemination

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9.1 An overview of 2012 APS dissemination

Data for the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) were released publically on November 25, 2013. The APS release included an analytical article and short video, both available to the public free of charge on Statistics Canada’s website. A set of regional tables designed to accompany the analytical article has been made available on-demand via e-mail.  Additional custom data tables are also available on a cost-recovery basis. 

Later releases of APS data, mostly in 2014, will include data tables, other analytical papers, a public use microdata file (PUMF) and an APS analytical file. Each of these products is discussed in more detail below.
Statistics Canada also delivers special APS presentations to National Aboriginal Organizations, to researchers working out of Research Data Centres, to other key stakeholders and at various conferences. In addition, Statistics Canada’s network of Aboriginal Liaison Program Advisors across Canada will be distributing APS-focused newsletters and responding to APS data needs in their region.

9.2 Data products and services

A set of data tables on the themes of education and employment will be available shortly after the first 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey release on November 25, 2013. These tables compliment the release article (see section 9.3 below for article description), providing data at the national and regional levels for First Nations living off-reserve, Inuit and Métis and comparing high school leavers and completers between the ages of 18 and 44. 

In 2014, a more extensive set of APS indicators will be available on CANSIM, the Canadian Socioeconomic Information Management system at Statistics Canada. The 2012 APS is the first APS for which CANSIM tables will be available. CANSIM provides fast and easy access to a large range of the latest statistics available in Canada. CANSIM tables are available on-line to the public free of charge.

An analytical file for the 2012 APS will be available in Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centres (RDCs) across the country. In order to access the file, researchers must undergo a research and ethics committee review for approval. Their use of the data must be conducted according to Statistics Canada policies, guidelines and standards (for instance, only aggregate statistical estimates that conform to the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act may be released outside of Statistics Canada). For more information on the Research Data Centres Program, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions. Accompanying the analytical file is the record layout, SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) syntax to load the file, as well as metadata in the form of a codebook that describes each variable and provides weighted and unweighted frequency counts. In addition, a detailed user guide provides researchers with guidelines they need for conducting statistical analysis of 2012 APS data.

A public use microdata file (PUMF) will also be disseminated in 2014, allowing for wider and direct use of the data by researchers, including university students across the country.  In order to provide extra assurance with respect to the non-disclosure of confidential information, the level of detail of the PUMF is not as fine as that of the analytical file kept by Statistics Canada.  

The 2012 APS also has four data sharing agreements in place with each of the Inuit regions of Canada: Nunatsiavut (Northern coastal Labrador), Nunavik (Northern Quebec), the territory of Nunavut and the Inuvialuit region of the Northwest Territories.  These data sharing agreements are an excellent method to increase data use and make the data more accessible. Only those respondents who are Inuit and have agreed to share their information with their respective region will be part of the data sharing file. The data sharing files will be disseminated in accordance with the data sharing agreements in 2014.

Another means of access to the data file is the Real Time Remote Access (RTRA) tool at Statistics Canada. This is a subscription service provided for a fee to clients associated with an academic institution, a government department or a non-profit organization.  RTRA is an on-line remote access tool allowing users to run SAS software programs, in real-time, against micro-data sets located in a central and secure location. Researchers using the RTRA system do not gain direct access to the micro-data and cannot view the content of the micro-data file. Instead, users submit SAS programs to extract results in the form of aggregated frequency tables. The RTRA complements existing methods of access to confidential micro-data, including the Research Data Centres. Using a secure username and password, the RTRA provides around the clock access to survey results from any computer with internet access. Confidentiality rules and reliability guidelines are applied to all requests in an automated way by the RTRA system, eliminating the need for manual intervention and allowing for rapid access to results. An RTRA agent can be reached at: rtra_adtr@statcan.gc.ca or please visit www.statcan.gc.ca/rtra for more information on how to obtain a user account.

In addition to these data products and services, clients can request custom data tables from Statistics Canada Client Services by email at sasd-dssea@statcan.gc.ca or by phone at 1-800-263-1136.  All custom requests are screened for confidentiality and aggregate data are rounded before being released to clients.

9.3 Analytical products

At the heart of the first 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey release is an analytical article entitled: The Education and Employment Experiences of First Nations People Living Off Reserve, Inuit, and Métis: Selected Findings from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.   In the article, an in-depth analysis of education and employment experiences is provided separately for First Nations people living off reserve, Inuit and Métis between the ages of 18 and 44. For each group, the article compares high school completers and leavers on key indicators of student experiences, the school environment and family involvement.  The article also examines post-secondary education and employment experiences among high school completers and leavers. The results of this article were also released in the form of a summary video .

Other analytical papers, which provide highlights of 2012 APS data on specialized topics, are to be released in 2014.  These will focus on the following themes:

  • Inuit health
  • Métis employment
  • Off-reserve First Nations youth education

9.4 Reference products

Information about the Aboriginal Peoples Survey is available on Statistics Canada’s website.  Statistics Canada provides an Integrated Metadata Base (IMDB) on-line for all surveys that it conducts, including the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.  The purpose of the IMDB is to provide information that will assist the public in interpreting Statistics Canada's published data. The information (also known as metadata) is provided to ensure an understanding of the basic concepts that define the data, including variables and classifications; the underlying statistical methods and surveys; and key aspects of the data quality. Direct access to the 2012 APS questionnaire is also provided.

As well, this Concepts and Methods Guide is provided online for a detailed discussion of survey content, sampling design, data collection and processing, weighting of the data, data quality, differences between the 2012 APS and 2011 National Household Survey, and dissemination products for the APS.

For researchers using the Analytical File in Statistics Canada’s Research Data Centres (RDCs), the Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2012: User’s Guide to the Analytical File is available which details the concepts and methods of the survey along with detailed step-by-step instructions for using the data file.  The RDC User Guide describes the structure of the data file in detail, including all core variables, derived variables and linkages to the National Household Survey (NHS).  A detailed codebook provides the data dictionary for all variables available.  The Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2012: User’s Guide to the Analytical File also provides detailed guidelines for tabulation and statistical analysis, how to apply the necessary weights to the data, information of software packages available and guidelines for the release of data, such as rounding rules. The process of estimating the reliability of estimates, both quantitative and qualitative, is covered in detail. 

Finally, a separate PUMF User Guide is created for users of the Public use microdata file for APS.  This covers similar issues of the variables available, a data dictionary codebook, the process of estimation, use of weights and guidelines for tabulation, statistical analysis and dissemination of data.

9.5 Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

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