Use of Administrative Data

Use of Administrative Data
Seminar on Developing a Programme on
Integrated Statistics in support of the
Implementation of the SNA for CARICOM countries
3-5 February 2014, Castries, Saint Lucia
United Nations Statistics Division
Outline of presentation
 Role of administrative sources in the statistical
production process
 Types of administrative data sources
 Advantages of using administrative data sources
 Challenges and quality issues
 Common problems of using administrative sources
 Links of administrative sources with the statistical
business register in integrated data collections
Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics
Principle 5. Data for statistical purposes may be drawn
from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or
administrative records.
Statistical agencies are to choose the source with regard to
quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents.
Overview and definition
Components of the integrated business and international
statistics programme cover all aspects of institutional
arrangements and standard statistical production process:
 governance and project management
 statistical business registers and frames
 integrated economic sampling and surveys
 use of administrative data sources
 data processing
 data dissemination and communication
Administrative sources are sources containing
information which is not primarily collected for
statistical purposes.
Types of administrative data sources (Examples)
Tax data (Value Added Tax (VAT), Business / profits tax,
Personal income tax)
Social security data
Registration systems for businesses / property
Register of farms
Building permits
Licensing systems e.g. sale of restricted goods, import /
Published business accounts
Internal accounting data
Data held by private businesses e.g. credit agencies,
business analysts, utility companies, retailers with store
cards etc.
Advantages of using administrative sources
Administrative sources help to reconcile increasing
demands for statistics with the increasing pressure on
national statistical organizations to improve the
efficiency of the statistical production process owing to:
Lower cost and response burden
Better coverage and frequency
 Statistical surveys and censuses are expensive and
labour intensive
 Although set-up costs of using administrative sources
can be high, the running costs are usually significantly
Advantages – cont.
Response burden
Using administrative sources helps alleviate the burden on
businesses and other respondents
Data suppliers don’t need to provide the same information
for different data collections
Administrative sources offer almost complete coverage of
target populations, have no survey errors, low nonresponse and give better small-area data.
Use of administrative sources allow statistics to be
produced more frequently because of
lower cost and response burden
no need for survey design, questionnaire design, or follow up on nonresponse.
Challenges and quality issues
Ensuring access to administrative sources
Enabled by a legal framework
Enabled by Service Level Agreements, contracts, informal
Ensuring that technical frameworks are in place
Mechanisms for data transfer (online, electronic media, paper),
agreed file formats and metadata standards
Ensuring that administrative data are fit for use for
statistical purposes
Resolving common problems of using administrative sources
(units, variables, classifications, inconsistency of sources,
timeliness etc.)
Common problems of using administrative sources
 Administrative units are often different from statistical
 Legal entity or Tax unit vs. enterprise, establishment
 Dwelling vs. household
 Job vs. person
 Administrative units need to be converted to meet
statistical requirements
 The use of a unique identifier will facilitate the
integration of administrative records into the statistical
Common problems – cont.
 Know and document the differences between definitions
used in administrative sources and statistical definitions
 Quantify the impact of the difference to make adjustments
during data processing
 Administrative sources may use different classification
rules or level of detail
 Provide coding expertise, tools and training to
administrative data suppliers
 Tools are needed to convert codes from one classification
to another
Common problems – cont.
Inconsistency of sources
 Data from different administrative sources may not be
consistent due to:
Different definitions, classifications, time periods, missing data or
 To resolve inconsistency, determine the priority of
sources to be used for the variable
 Multiple sources may help to validate data quality and
provide feedback to determine accuracy of data
Common problems – cont.
 Data from administrative sources may relate to different
time period or available with different time schedule than
the needs of the statistical office
 Such administrative data are not directly suitable for
monthly or quarterly statistics
 Statistical corrections or estimations needed using data
from other reference periods
 Adjust data and look for ways agreed with data supplier to
reduce lags where possible
Links with business register
A statistical register can be a tool for integrating data from
different sources.
 An administrative source can be used directly as a
sampling frame (simple, inexpensive solution)
 One or more administrative sources can be used to
construct a statistical register (statisticians have
ownership and control: better data quality)
 Administrative sources provide up to date information
on changes for maintaining statistical registers
Thank You