The overall objective off this ESSnet is to provide assistance in the development of more integrated databases and data production systems for business statistics in Member States. The ESSnet has to work on issues that are common for the majority of the ESS NSIs when applying a data warehousing approach for statistics. Its general objectives are:
- Review of current best practices in integrated business data systems
- Identification of problems and solutions in current practices and the opportunities
that a data warehouse (DWH) might provide
- Examination of ways in which data can be combined to support new outputs
- Provision of recommendations on how the ESS can improve data warehousing
- Dissemination of the ESSnet results to all ESS countries.
The ESSnet's main goal in daily statistical practice is to increase the efficiency of data processing in statistical production systems and to maximize the reuse of already collected data in the statistical system, with as ultimate aim:
‘To create fully integrated data sets for enterprise and trade statistics at micro level:
- a 'data warehouse' approach to statistics.’
In the first SGA period of the DWH ESSnet main focus was on the stocktaking of current (best) practices and finding out what actual needs member states have on the topic of data warehousing in statistical production. Main conclusion is that data warehousing is a very live and current topic at almost all NSIs. And in addition to that, one of the most important results of the first SGA is that ESS member states have a clear need for knowledge exchange, expert advice and active support in setting-up and building a statistical data warehouse. So dissemination of the results is an important activity of the ESSnet to provide guidance to Member States who are planning to develop a S-DWH or are already in the process of implementing.
The results of the ESS-wide questionnaire were very useful to pinpoint the main subjects for the second specific grant agreement (SGA2), such as the metadata and the role/position of the business register in the S-DWH.
It however also raised awareness that discussing on data warehousing is quite complex, not only because of various possible interpretations of terminology used, but also because respondents come from different fields of interest (statistics, IT, management). The first workshop showed a clear need for advice and active support in setting-up and building a statistical data warehouse.
Data warehousing is still new to many NSIs of the ESS. It became clear that the stocktaking of best practices, problems encountered and desired solutions should be a continuous task for the ESSnet. Visiting NSIs for in depth study on specific topics has proven a very effective instrument, not only for gathering information but also for sharing knowledge and expertise. During the second SGA the ESSnet will continue this action to support NSIs actively.
The process of setting up a S-DWH requires a substantial time period to realize and is also a dynamic process that requires constant actualisation/updating. Therefore this ESSnets needs to ensure sustainability of all of its results after the project is completed.
During the second SGA 3 workshops will be organised to present and discuss intermediate results with the ESS countries and to get feedback and input for further activities. At the end of this SGA a final workshop will be organised to present all results and deliverables to the ESS countries and present how the ESSnet will keep these results sustainable.