Electronic Reporting Does It Make Sense or Cents?

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  • Electronic ReportingDoes It Make Sense or Cents?This presentation is released to informed interested parties of ongoing research and to encourage discussion of work in progress. Any views on statistical, methodological, technical, or operational issues are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the U.S. Census Bureau.Presented by Thomas L. Mesenbourg Associate Director for Economic Programs Thomas.L.Mesenbourg.Jr.@census.govJune 2007

  • Presentation OutlineHistoryObjectivesElectronic Reporting StrategiesElectronic Reporting RatesLessons LearnedIs Electronic Reporting Cost Efficient

  • Electronic Reporting ObjectivesTransform to an E-Gov environmentProvide value-added services to businessesFacilitate and accelerate reportingImprove data quality and reduce processing costs

  • Electronic Reporting StrategiesDifferent solutions for different programsGeneralized vs. Custom SystemsContracted vs. In-house DevelopmentFour development paths

  • Generalized Instrument DesignEconomic Census, Report of Organization, ASMGeneralized, designs paper and electronic instruments, meta data drivenDeveloped by private contractorDownloadable CSAQ, import and export capabilitiesComplex, long development timeExpensive to develop and supportUsers require assistance and supportHandles 550 different economic census forms, complex reporting, and authentication; provides import and export functionalityToo costly and complicated for most surveys

  • Census TakerSix current surveys use web-based instrumentsGeneralized, web-based, simple meta dataDeveloped by IT DirectorateQuick development, inexpensive, minimal supportEasy to use, minimal user support requiredCan not easily handle surveys with large number of different forms or complex reporting arrangementsNo import and export capabilities

  • Automated Export SystemElectronic filing of export declarationCustomized, contractor developed, no meta dataMainframe and web-based applicationLong development time, enhancements, slow to implementVery low development costs, but substantial fee-based charges and support servicesCost effective, and mandatory electronic reportingEnhancements require multiple agency agreement

  • Government Division SurveysSix quarterly/annual surveys use web-based instrumentFast, inexpensive development, modest supportHigh participation ratesNot generalized, wont easily support surveys with large number of formsNo import, export capability

  • Electronic Filing Rates

  • Lessons LearnedSoftware must provide tangible benefits to respondentsNo single solution for every programestablishment-based surveys and surveys with a large number of different report formscompany based surveys generally much simplerElectronic reporting related research paying dividendsDevelopment and support costs generally substantial, especially for large complex programsRequire business case analysis before undertaking project

  • Is Electronic Reporting Cost Efficient?Development and support costs are significantAutomated Export System has demonstrated cost savings, improvements in quality, and reduction in burdenElectronic reporting for Economic Censusnot cost efficient if viewed in isolationsavings associated with design of paper instruments and data capture savings bring it close to break-evenCensus Taker is cost effective for company based surveys with relatively few report forms, but can not efficiently handle surveys with numerous formsGovernments electronic reporting is cost effective