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Informal SDMX/DDI Dialogue Session 4



Thursday 4 August 2011, by telephone conference

Facilitator:  Steven Vale

Participants: See list in Annex


Item 1: Update on the mapping of DDI and SDMX vocabularies


Marco Pellegrino gave an update on work to develop a SDMX technical vocabulary. The first draft will be circulated within the SDMX community and to the SDMX/DDI Dialogue group within the next 1-2 weeks for feedback. The level of detail may be too high at present, and will probably be reduced in future. This vocabulary will eventually form the basis for comparing DDI and SDMX terminology. Mary Vardigan will send Marco a similar, though possibly higher-level list of DDI terms.


Item 2: Update on the development of business cases for collaboration between DDI and SDMX


Alistair Hamilton introduced a draft outline of the proposed business case document. This draft linked the collaboration between DDI and SDMX to the wider ideas of industrialisation and standardisation of official statistics. This approach was supported as long as the focus is on industrialisation and standardisation within an organisation, rather than between organisations.


The potential business case related to dynamic tabulation of microdata will be covered in a paper being prepared by the OECD Paris Microdata Access Group. This area seems to be growing in importance, so close cooperation with that group should be maintained.


Steve Vale mentioned ideas from several recent meetings to de-couple technical and content standards. Statistical harmonisation would not be linked to just one technical standard, but could instead provide a higher-level framework under which several technical standards could be used. Rune Gløersen has drafted a diagram of this approach. Steve will ask him for a copy to add to the wiki.


Item 3: Relations with other international groups and initiatives


The recently established SDMX technical and statistical working groups are currently developing and prioritising their work programmes. The Data Without Boundaries project is also likely to be a key player in this area, and may organise a workshop on DDI and SDMX in November. In all cases overlapping membership with the SDMX/DDI Dialogue group will help to ensure coordination.

Item 4: List of relevant meetings


Steve has created a list of international meetings concerning statistical metadata at: Suggestions for additions were the Data Without Boundaries workshop in November, a meeting of the SDMX Technical Working Group in Frankfurt on 18/19 October, and a meeting of the ESSNet project on SDMX in Luxembourg on 9 September (Eurostat will check the possibility of participation by video and/or telephone conference).


Item 5: How to organise the dialogue in future


The mailing list for the Dialogue has grown to almost 50 people. There was an initial discussion about whether this called for more organisational formality, including a possible two-tier approach, with one sub-group working actively on the issues identified, and another receiving information on progress. An alternative was to nominate one lead person per organisation to be the main contact point.


No firm conclusions were reached. This topic will be discussed again at the next meeting.


Item 6: Any other business


No other business was raised.


Item 7: Next meeting


A face-to-face meeting will be held in Geneva on Wednesday 5 October, during the lunch-break of the METIS Workshop. If necessary, this will be followed by session that evening. Steve will check the possibility of participation by telephone.


The draft agenda is:


  • Update on progress on mapping vocabularies;
  • Update on the development of business cases;
  • Feedback from the Luxembourg meeting on 9 September;
  • Coordination with other groups / initiatives;
  • Future organisation of the dialogue.

Annex: List of Participants


Adam Brown, Statistics New Zealand

Adam Wronski, Eurostat

Alistair Hamilton, ABS (Australia)

Arofan Gregory, ODAF

Chris Nelson, Metadata Technology (UK)

Dan Gillman, BLS (USA)

Franck Cotton, INSEE (France)

Guillaume Duffes, INSEE (France)

Hamish James, Statistics New Zealand

Jean-Pierre Kent, CBS (Netherlands)

Jenny Linnerud, Statistics Norway

Johanne Jean-Baptiste, Statistics Canada

Juan Munoz-Lopez, INEGI (Mexico)

Marco Pellegrino, Eurostat

Mari Kleemola, Data without boundaries

Mary Vardigan, DDI Alliance

Peter Boško, Infostat (Slovakia)

Thérèse Lalor, ABS (Australia)

Steve Vale, UNECE