Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.15, No.1, 1999. pp. 103114

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Applied Systems Analysis in Official Statistics

Statistical Information Systems (SIS) are a dominant part of official statistics and are classified among large-scale systems. According to systems theory, this class has distinguishing features which not only determine its behaviour but also its handling. Therefore applied systems analysis is an ideal tool both for streamlining the design of SIS and for gaining insights into their efficiency, evolution and management. This article offers a framework for such an approach, which is based on the application of some ideas from systems theory and systems analysis to the context of official statistics. This type of framework can be used to examine a specific SIS both in its entirety and in its modules. Such an approach reveals the dynamics, its life cycle (the entity) and sublife cycles (the different modules). Such an approach, furthermore, is a prerequisite for the generation of new SIS, their subsystems and the regeneration of existing systems.

Statistical Information Systems; large-scale systems properties; system design; metadata; life cycle phases; new technologies.

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