Is it useful to have ESS standards?

Standards are a means to capture best practices and offer re-usable solutions to common issues. They are a key element to achieve targets of efficiency gains ambitioned by the ESS Vision 2020 and for which the ESS has engaged to further identify and implement standards for statistical production.

Indeed, ESS standards have positive impacts on many aspects of the business of the ESS , for instance they play a key role in support of collaboration and interoperability as they constitute a common language for the ESS in the areas of methodology, terminologies, data structures or software. This ability also stimulates competition among service providers and reduces risks of dependency and vendor lock-in.

Furthermore, standards play a major role in innovation because they reflect the strengths of those who develop them, meaning that non-participation in standardisation hands decision making over to the competition. In this sense innovative approaches once captured in ESS standards can be used as a basis for collaboration and partnerships and support the move from laboratory or piloting stages to larger-scale deployment in production.

Last but not least, ESS standards have a positive impact on quality, trust and transparency, and on comparability of statistics. As a matter of fact products and processes based on widely accepted standards will generally be assessed of higher quality and easier to trust than others based on more local and opaque approaches.