4.1 Metadata system(s)
Statistics Sweden has several metadata systems, some new and some old. The long term vision is to have one common system that provides metadata for all parts of the production process so that metadata is only stored once and reused in the other parts of the production process.
Description of the statistics
Descriptions of the statistics are according to the Swedish Statistics Act to be available for all official Swedish statistics. The purpose is to provide brief information on the quality of the statistics and other basic facts. The descriptions serve an important function as a quality declaration for the published statistics. The documentation is in free text format following a standard template containing the main chapter's General information and Quality declaration.
Supports the whole production process. In 1994 Statistics Sweden decided that all observation registers and production systems under its responsibility should be documented in the SCBDOK system. The purpose is to provide a detailed account of the process of creating a statistical register, from data collection to presentation. The SCBDOK documentation is created in free text format following a standard template containing the following six chapters: 0. General information, 1. Contents outline, 2. Data collection, 3. Final observation registers, 4. Statistical processing and presentation, 5. Data processing system, 6. Log file.
MetaPlus was implemented in 2007, and was initially created to document microdata, supporting the process phase. The Classification database is a subsystem of MetaPlus. Previously Statistics Sweden used the in-house developed Metadok system to document final observation registers in a formalised way, and the Classification Database (KDB) to document national and international classifications. From 2007 both those systems were replaced by the new MetaPlus system. Chapter 3 of the SCBDOK documentation is derived from MetaPlus. MetaPlus is primarily developed for documenting final observation registers, describing the micro data. This means that at the moment it is mainly used in the statistical process phase. However the model is general and can be used for all stages in the production process. It can be used to describe raw data, in the data collection phase and to describe aggregated data used in tables in the statistical computation phase. MetaPlus can also be used it in the design phase, for example to get variable definitions and construct the sample. How MetaPlus is going to be used in the production is not clear at this point, several projects are looking into that at the present and more work will be done in this field during 2010.
KDB, the classification database
KDB is a Neuchâtel terminology based classification data base and contains classifications used at Statistics Sweden. It is a part of the MetaPlus system.
Macro meta, metadata for the statistical database
Macro meta is used by the software system supporting the dissemination or output databases of Statistics Sweden, which are available on the Internet. The model is based on PC-Axis. Macro-Meta is the standard tool for entering and modifying the metadata in tables in the Statistical Database.
The product database
The product database´s primary objective is to keep track of Statistics Sweden's and other authorities responsible for official statistics statistical products. The product database has a central role in the Swedish statistical system and is an important coordination tool. The official names and identities from the product database should be used in all other systems that handle products. The data are used in Statistics Sweden's planning and monitoring process.
The process support system
The process support system describes Statistics Sweden´s standard methods, tools and work practices. It contains information on the different sub processes according to the Swedish process model. It contains technical documentation, manuals, templates, checklists, etc. for carrying out the statistical production process. The process support system is structured according to the definitions in the business process model adopted by Statistics Sweden. Each sub-process and activity is outlined in a hierarchical structure with links to more detailed information about the various methodologies, tools and work methods.
FMOD (governance model)
FMOD is Statistics Sweden´s governance model; it is to be applied in the management of processes related to the statistical production process. FMOD is scheduled to be introduced gradually into operation from 2009. FMOD is intended primarily for statistical products and some of the common processes.
4.2 Costs and Benefits
At the moment Statistics Sweden has several metadata systems that are not formally connected. This has a lot of drawbacks as the same information has to be loaded manually into several systems. The vision for the future is to tie the different parts together into an integrated system of systems. This does not mean one giant system but subsystems that are linked to one another.
4.3 Implementation strategy
A stepwise implementation approach is used for all systems.