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Editing During Data Collection (Theme)


Data editing is the process of "improving" collected survey data. The improvement involves finding erroneous data and then correcting it. Errors may have happened along the way from the respondent to the survey organization's data files for various reasons, intended or unintended. Examples include typing errors, wrongly estimated values, misclassifications. Omission or answer denial can also be a source of measurement error. Up to about 40 percent of statistical agency's resources is spent on editing and imputing missing data (De Waal et al., 2011). In mail business surveys the editing process is performed at the post-collection phase of the survey. The advent of computer technology has enabled statisticians to shift data editing to the data collection stage. Some types of data editing tasks can be performed at the data collection phase. Editing was first incorporated into data collection in the CATI mode. The interviewer is assisted by an electronic questionnaire, which is a program running on his computer. The program contains a built-in set of editing rules, called edit checks or edits. These rules assess whether the response is allowed by survey criteria or should be discarded, that is whether an edit is satisfied or violated. Mobile computers extend the field of editing to CAPI. The interviewer conducts a face-to-face interview using an interactive computer program with embedded edit checks. Computer self-administered questionnaires also adopt editing rules, in which the editing process is performed by the respondent. The increasing use of the Internet entails a shift to another mode of survey data collection: online data collection. The prevalent self-administered data collection mode in business surveys and the use of computer questionnaires with incorporated edits enable the editing process at the respondent level. This solution results in many benefits: it decreases costs, improves data quality and response rates and lowers the perceived response burden. For the general issues of data editing in business surveys the user is referred to the topic "Statistical Data Editing".


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