Mobile Technologies in Consumer Price Statistics(Czech Stastistical Office)
What is meant by mobile technologies in price statistics ? Use of mobile hardware (PDAs, Notebooks, tablet PCs, UMPC, etc.) & appropriate software for collecting, transmitting and verifying data used for CPI computations.
10,4 milion inhabitants in the Czech Rep. 70 000 price quotes 47 districts, i.e. 47 field price collectors 5 verifying specialists in the headquarters, 2 methodologists, 2 technological support 787 items of the consumer basket comming from the field 124 (15%) items collected centrally (phone calls, spreadsheets, etc.) A few numbers: Monthly Consumer Price Index Weekly average prices of selected high weighted CPI products • 4056 price quotes • 26 items of the basket
Implementing MT 1999 – 2000 • e-mail questions worldwide how others work • Testing suitable HW • Costs analyses • Persuading people • Staff building 2001 • Pilot study – 1st SW version (own CZSO SW) 2002 • floods, outsourcing necessary, tender (Kvados a.s.) 2003 • Pilot study – 2nd SW version (outsourced SW) 2004 • april – tests, august – staff training, september – lancing new system
HW - field47 x PDA Before … After … Symbol MC 50 Windows Mobile 2003 SE Intel Xscale 520 MHz 64 MB RAM / 64 MB ROM Li – Ion 1560 mAh ADVANTAGE: MOTOROLA / SYMBOL REPAIR CENTER IS LOCATED IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
HW – headquarters 9 x PC 5 x verification (part time jobs) + 2 x methodology 2 x technological support (part time) HP xw4400 Workstations Hard disk: 250056 MB Processor: 2.13GHz 2133 Memory: 1024 MB + HP LaserJet printers
SW – „client-server“ applicationFIELD: • myAvisTM (Kvados a.s.) mobile client Field Sales
HEADQUARTERS: • First „20“ days of a month – approvals or rejections: myAvisTM (Kvados a.s.) terminal services client -> MS Windows 2000 server Confirmed or rejected
„21st + 1“ day of a month - final verification procedures: ORACLE database management system
anytime MS Excell tables
Formarly: 10000 price quotes had to be verified within 4 days by 1 person, i.e. 11 seconds for 1 price quote incl. accomp. data. • Residues of former system persist
Technological Components • Mobile telecommunication cellular network for GPRS,EDGE data transmissions between PDAs and Server (T-Mobile – coverage OK) • Internet, LANs • Tasks administration - myAvisTM terminal services client • Oracle DBMS + MS Excell + Stastistica SW • CPI calculations • Final data verification procedures • Quality adjustment procedures
Data processing participants Methodologists, dissemination Processing dept. incl. techn. support Solution partner - Kvados a.s. 47 price collectors
Data transmissions via internet myAvis MS Terminal Service Clients for reports and queries in MS SQL server database, Oracle DBMS, MS Excell Oracle DBMS, MS Excell Daily wireless data transmissions from / to 47 PDAs (GPRS, EDGE) - myAvis mobile clients myAvis Replication & mobile servers, reporting, mapping. Firewall.
Advantages vs. Disadvantages of MT • Building of quality respondents register (+) • Reports at hand (+) • Time stamps (+) • Quality of verifying procedures increased (+) • Staff skills increased (+) • Work in real time with real information (+) ADVANTAGES (+): • Abolition of written materials (+) • Continuous data processing (+) • All components integrated (+) • methodological • price/unit calculator/convertor • item descriptions • historical data • headq. instructions • Immediate logical controle (+) • Return of suspicious data (+) • Quick data searching (+) • „Tours“ guiding tool (+) • respondents • items inside outlets DISADVANTAGES (- ) • Time consuming to follow the techno- logical evolution (-) • HW life expectancy is about 5 years (-) • Service and maintenance necessary (-) • Responsibility of price colletors for costly equipment (-)
Consumer Prices Colletors´ SW • Main menu • Methodology • Registers • Outlets (Respondents) • Schedules • Codes of changes • Price Items • Price calculators, unit convertors • Collectors´ proposals and notes • Messaging • Headquarters rejections • Collector´s „tours“ • Up-to-date reports
Basic conclusions : Quality: • Occurance of processing faults eliminated • Staff skills considerably increased Efficiency: • Data processing shortened and made continuous • Statisticians work more effectively • number of verifying staff decreased • another agenda to statisticians added.
Pay-back return 14 months Reducing headquarters staff by 2 people. Note: 9 field price collectors reduction not taken into account.
Plans for future A suitable PDA having GSM module, like MOTOROLA MC5574 Intellisync Mobile Suite distributed by Nokia, E-mails, calendar, notes, tasks and contacts are synchronized periodically so as to keep the statistician in the field fully informed anywhere and anytime. Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 XScaleTM PXA270 520 MHz processor 128MB SDRAM/256MB Flash Rechargeable Lithium Ion 3.7V, 2400 mAh Smart Battery Bar code scanner GPS module Successfully tested on Symbol MC 35
Thank you for you kind attention. Jiří Šťastný Price statistics dept. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org