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StEPS at EIA—Where We Are Now. Paula Weir and Sue Harris Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy ICES3 Topic Contributed Session: Generalized Survey Processing Systems—Part II. Presentation Outline. Background and reason for implementing a generalized system

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StEPS at EIA—Where We Are Now

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StEPS at EIA—Where We Are Now

Paula Weir and Sue Harris

Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy

ICES3 Topic Contributed Session:

Generalized Survey Processing Systems—Part II

Presentation Outline

  • Background and reason for implementing a generalized system

  • First issue of getting data into StEPS

  • StePs modules—changes made and how used

  • Modifications to other systems and creation of new systems needed

  • Summary and future work


  • In 2002 EIA acquired StEPS from the U.S. Bureau of Census

  • Low cost solution for replacing legacy systems

  • Since then 18 surveys have been migrated to StEPS

  • Differences in survey requirements and business process have resulted in significant customization

  • Challenges faced in implementing a generalized system designed with other surveys and processes in mind

Getting Data into StEPS

  • Process for creating batch data into the StEPS input format

  • EIA developed the Data Collection Module (DCM)

  • Originally intended to be a generalized system

  • DCM provides the identification of the respondents expected to report

  • All reported data are keyed or passed through the DCM

  • The DCM performs multiple front-end tasks

  • Process original responses and resubmissions.

  • Generate reports for organizing and tracking information regarding survey processing (case control)

StEPs Modules

  • This processing system includes: a) modules for specifying parameters for the specific users and survey; b) modules for data collection activities including mailing, receipt and check-in; as well as, c) modules for post collection such as editing, imputation, and estimation.

Customization of StEPS

  • Evolutionary process

  • Original vision was to remain compatible with future versions and upgrades from Census

  • As a result of differences in survey and business processes, the vision changed

  • Example: analysts work on multiple surveys and time periods, so EIA created a StEPS Menu Interface screen

  • EIA Tools

Defining STePS Edits

  • StEPS has 7 edit rules types: 1) required data item test; 2) range test; 3) list directed test; 4) skip pattern validation test; 5) balance test; 6) survey rule test; and 7) negative test.

  • The use of the edit types varied within the three groups of EIA surveys.

  • Many of the edit rules are common to many of the data cells, so a “wildcard” feature was developed to apply the edit to cells selected through a drop down.

  • Performance issues and resolution approaches

  • Enhanced roster functionality

Imputation Definition

  • Imputation implemented differently within the three survey groups

  • Simple imputation vs. general imputation

  • Calculation of impute values within StEPS vs brought in as auxiliary file

  • Imputation as a rollover function

  • Major change initiative: Imputation in roster surveys

Review and Correction

  • View reported data, edit flags and resolution, view notes

  • Override flag created

  • Failures highlighted in red

  • Notes functionality enhanced

  • Roster item view and correction screens created

  • Mass correction function for control data

Control Information

  • Master Control and Control Information

  • Latest action

  • Ghosting and successor ID

  • Unghosting to preserve ID as of the time data are reported

  • Relationship to other systems and processes

Other Existing Systems and Creation of New Systems

  • Historical respondent level database--SIS

  • Master Frame FileIntegrated Frame System

  • OHUB—temporary holding area of control and survey data, job status, other frame and sample information

Overview of Production Processes and Systems

Summary and Future Work

  • StEPS: one box in an overall process and flow

  • Low cost alternative but did not replace all the functionality in the legacy system

  • New systems and interfaces had to be built and other systems modified

  • Main problems: lack of knowledge on effective implementation (training and resource issues); differences in processes and work flow—language barrier; integration with other systems; independent treatment of separate but dependent surveys; dimensionality of EIA surveys

  • Quick fixes and survey specific solutions vs integrated generalized solution for implementation

  • Short run: 3 more surveys; Longer run: focus on edit/impute/estimate in StEPS, graphical interface and outlier detection, revisit process flow, integration of separate but related surveys, upcoming forms modifications, Red Hat?

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