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This section focuses on the management of statistical metadata in the SMS framework.

It presents the principles to be taken into the consideration when preparing the SMS vision, global architecture and when implementing the SMS.

The principles can be presented in the following groups:

metadata handling

i. Statistical business process model: Manage metadata with a focus on the
overall statistical business process model (
ii. Active not passive: Make metadata active to the greatest extent possible.
Active metadata are metadata that drive other processes and actions. Treating
metadata this way will ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.
iii. Reuse: Reuse metadata where possible for statistical integration as well as
efficiency reasons
iv. Versions: Preserve history (old versions) of metadata.

metadata authority

i. Registration: Ensure the registration process (workflow) associated with each
metadata element is well documented so there is clear identification of
ownership, approval status, date of operation, etc.
ii. Single source: Ensure that a single, authoritative source ('registration
authority') for each metadata element exists.
iii. One entry/update: Minimize errors by entering once and updating in one
iv. Standards variations: Ensure that variations from standards are tightly
managed/approved, documented and visible.

Relationship to statistical business processes

i. Integrity: Make metadata-related work an integral part of business processes
across the organization.
ii. Matching metadata: Ensure that metadata presented to the end-users match
the metadata that drove the business process or were created during the
iii. Describe flow: Describe metadata flows within and between statistical
business processes (alongside data flows and business logic).
iv. Capture at source: Capture metadata at their source, preferably automatically
as a bi-product of other processes.
v. Exchange and use: Exchange metadata and use them for informing both
computer based processes and human interpretation. The infrastructure for
exchange of data and associated metadata should be based on loosely coupled
components, with a choice of standard exchange languages, such as XML.


i. Identify users: Ensure that users are clearly identified for all metadata
processes, and that all metadata capturing will create value for them.
ii. Different formats: The diversity of metadata is recognised and there are
different views corresponding to the different uses of the data. Different users
require different levels of detail. Metadata appear in different formats
depending on the processes and goals for which they are produced and used.
iii. Availability: Ensure that metadata are readily available and useable in the
context of the users' information needs (whether an internal or external user).