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Metadata Standards and Official Statistics. Presentation by: Jack Gager Metadata Technology, North America. Overview. Why Standardize Standards Overview Our Experiences The Future of the Standards Summary. Why Standardize?.

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Metadata standards and official statistics
Metadata Standards and Official Statistics

Presentation by:

Jack Gager

Metadata Technology, North America


  • Why Standardize

  • Standards Overview

  • Our Experiences

  • The Future of the Standards

  • Summary

Why standardize
Why Standardize?

  • Strategy to implement the vision of HLG-BAS1 laid out the following key points:

    • Organizations producing statistics are faced with a shift in the way data is produced and utilized

    • The abundance of data poses both opportunities and challenges

  • The strategy focused on 5 themes:

    • Organizations producing statistics need to improve processes

    • Data and services need to be more economic to produce

    • Vast amounts of available data should be utilized

    • Environments which promote reuse of data, processes and methods should be created; including those which allow users to perform their own analysis

    • Strong leadership is required for this strategy


Hlg bas strategy
HLG-BAS Strategy

  • Building knowledge based on international standards

    • GSBPM for business concepts

    • GSIM for information concepts

  • Outline a plug-and-play architecture

Metadata standards and official statistics

  • Even before DDI, survey metadata was being captured in machine actionable ways

  • DDI 1.0 was finalized around 2000

    • Archival

    • Single survey view with variable centric metadata

  • DDI 2.0 was introduced in 2003

    • Aggregate data

    • Geographical information

  • Lifecycle approach accepted 2004

    • Move from single survey view

    • Promote reuse and harmonization of metadata

  • DDI 3.0 officially released 2008

Metadata standards and official statistics

  • Prior to SDMX there was GESMES/TS

  • SDMX 1.0 was released in 2004

    • Data

    • Structure

    • Query

  • Became ISO 17369 in 2005

  • SDMX 2.0 released in 2005

    • Registry

    • Reference Metadata

  • SDMX 2.1 released in 2011

    • Enhanced web services





Metadata standards and official statistics

  • Information objects for the GSBPM

  • Goals:

    • Provide common terminology and definitions for developing metadata systems and information management frameworks

    • Reference model for implementing on a consistent basis when defining information to drive production processes

  • SDMX and DDI Lifecycle as starting points

    • Leveraged where appropriate as representations of GSIM

Our experience
Our Experience

  • Initially, standards were seen as competing

    • That has been largely clarified

    • Aided by ongoing dialogues between SDMX/DDI

  • Standards are often viewed a magic bullets

    • Rarely is this the case

    • Extensions are often necessary

    • The standards are not great at actually managing metadata

  • Standards used only for their basic purposes probably hinder more than they help

  • Standards are only as good as the quality of the metadata behind them

Future of the standards
Future of the Standards

  • GSBPM and GSIM are steps in the right direction

  • DDI and SDMX should take leads from GSIM

    • Base their models in GSIM so the standards are better harmonized

    • Follow GSIMs lead in not prescribing metadata management, but rather only the information necessary for the purpose of the standard

    • Lower barriers for entry and adoption


  • GSBPM and GSIM form a useful framework for industrializing statistics production

  • DDI and SDMX are necessary to realize the overall visions of HLG-BAS

  • This bigger picture view should foster a continued evolution in the standards

  • As with any framework or standard, the results are only as good as the inputs; sound metadata management is key