Metadata and Dissemination


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Presentation at Training on Metadata and Output Databases (project Strengthening the Institutional Capacity for BiH Statistics)

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Metadata and Dissemination

  1. 1. Metadata and Dissemination Katja Šnuderl
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Trends in data dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>How relevant and how useful are metadata? </li></ul><ul><li>PC-Axis as a structured metadata model </li></ul>
  3. 3. Current trends <ul><li>Shift from print to electronic dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate instead of disseminate </li></ul><ul><li>User friendliness </li></ul><ul><li>Layering </li></ul><ul><li>Content management systems (CMS) </li></ul><ul><li>Translation to English </li></ul>
  4. 4. Paper vs. Web User selects data and designs tables Fixed table structure Contextual linking Quoting or re-writing Structured metadata Methodological explanations as free text No technical limitations Size of tables limited by the paper format No one reads more than a few lines Long texts are appropriate
  5. 5. Paper AND Web <ul><li>Archive </li></ul><ul><li>Print and take </li></ul><ul><li>No internet </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>! Coherence </li></ul><ul><li> more workload for data producers, structured metadata help avoiding most of duplication </li></ul>
  6. 6. Disseminate vs. communicate <ul><li>To disseminate - ‘scatter about, spread (especially ideas) widely’ </li></ul><ul><li>Pocket Oxford Dictionary </li></ul><ul><li>Disseminate = provide data to public, &quot;take it or leave it&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate = user-oriented approach, &quot;get it and use it&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>experiences + feedback </li></ul>
  7. 7. User friendliness <ul><li>Constrains of search engines  search keywords as metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive perception – learning by using  stable structure </li></ul><ul><li>Usability tests, customer satisfaction surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul>
  8. 8. Layering <ul><li>Content metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Methodological explanations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Detail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Common structure enables query linking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Crosscutting (key indicators) </li></ul><ul><li>User metadata </li></ul>
  9. 9. Content Management System <ul><li>Provides: </li></ul><ul><li>Structured templates </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Re-usability </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to be efficient: </li></ul><ul><li>Process metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Content metadata </li></ul><ul><li>User training (process + content) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Metadata shopping list <ul><li>Classifications: common use, descriptions, special notes </li></ul><ul><li>Process: input source, output form, dates, persons (prepare, approve, contact) </li></ul><ul><li>Content: common descriptions, particularities </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictions: confidentiality rules, registered users access, download </li></ul><ul><li>Users: monitor hits, requests, comments, register users </li></ul>
  11. 11. &quot;Left outside&quot; the system <ul><li>News releases – comments on trends and current developments </li></ul><ul><li>Ad-hoc publications </li></ul><ul><li>Ad-hoc tables for advanced users </li></ul><ul><li>Try to document them within the metadata system </li></ul>
  12. 12. Elements of a data release at SORS <ul><li>Title (content + time period) </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Summary tables </li></ul><ul><li>Charts </li></ul><ul><li>Attachments </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Database list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological explanations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questionnaires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Release calendar </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. What is PC-Axis ? <ul><li>File format, a tool, de-facto standard </li></ul><ul><li>Started as a solution for census data presentation (Sweden) </li></ul><ul><li>Continued to develop and be used world-wide (~40 countries and organisations) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why do we use it? <ul><li>Tailored for statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Helps us learn and identify some common standards in dissemination </li></ul><ul><li>Format itself is not so relevant as long as it is standardized at the corporate level </li></ul><ul><li>PC-Axis reference group  able to upgrade to any new dissemination standard </li></ul>
  15. 15. PC-Axis basics <ul><li>Files or databases </li></ul><ul><li>Data + structured metadata </li></ul>
  16. 16. How does PC-Axis work ? <ul><li>SQL database or files </li></ul><ul><li>Files serve better for less detailed tables, easier implementation, can be later migrated to database </li></ul><ul><li>SQL database needs common metadata and provides more functionalities for more detailed tables </li></ul><ul><li>Different input data formats </li></ul><ul><li>Re-usability of metadata </li></ul><ul><li>Different tools for data preparing and data visualisation </li></ul>
  17. 17. What does it look like? <ul><li>Let's see… </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions <ul><li>Metadata influence quality of dissemination perception </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing a metadata information system helps optimizing process and structuring information for users </li></ul><ul><li>Users learn by doing, therefore it is important to respect common standards and trends </li></ul><ul><li>There are several output database formats on the market, PC-Axis is one of the options to use </li></ul>
  19. 19. Contact details Katja Šnuderl Electronic Dissemination and International Reporting Department Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia Vožarski pot 12 1000 Ljubljana [email_address] Tel. +386 1 2415 155