The progress made during the variable documentation phase, as well as with the methodology and data accuracy documentation phase, leads us to conclude that it is more efficient to start documenting the metadata right at the outset of any new survey design or redesign, and at the data collection stage of surveys, instead of documenting them only after they have released data, which was our practice in the past.
All of these plans and priorities for the further development and use of the IMDB critically depends on the quality of the metadata it contains, which in turn depends on the co-operation, motivation and competencies of metadata authors. For a metadata system to be successful, communications and training activities need to be continuously implemented so that authors are fully aware and convinced of the importance of metadata and their role in its creation and maintenance. They need to know and understand the specific requirements of the IMDB and integrate the creation and updating of metadata in their routine business process. Continued management support and attention is necessary but, in addition, authors need to know the how and why of metadata.
Controlled deployment of the updating system to the desktops of motivated and trained divisions, coupled with information sessions for all data producing divisions, incorporation of metadata training in the corporate flagship training programs, and workshops on metadata and providing additional information on plans and progress on the IMDB project are all activities that have improved the level of awareness and understanding regarding the use and importance of metadata at Statistics Canada.