Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.15, No.1, 1999. pp. 103–114
Applied Systems Analysis in Official Statistics
Abstract: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.
Keywords:Statistical Information Systems; large-scale systems properties; system design; metadata; life cycle phases; new technologies.
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