The main objectives for this project are the identification of best practices and the development of common methodology and ESS guidelines supporting the production of business statistics aiming at reducing respondent burden and fostering efficiency and integration of processes.

One operational objective is to produce a methodological handbook for the production of business statistics. This is intended to be an update of the current Handbook on design and implementation of business surveys (Eurostat, 1997). The new handbook shall have:

  • The entire domain of enterprise and trade statistics as its scope;
  • The ESS (including Eurostat) as its target;
  • An integration perspective (in order to raise the quality and the efficiency of European business statistics);
  • A standardisation perspective by applying both the SDMX Metadata Common Vocabulary and the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM) and a standardisation perspective by proposing standard methods.

In case a topic is so new that no standards or best practices could have evolved, it is possible to do some research on this topic. Some suitable areas for further development are the following:

  • Design: organisation, sample design and overall coherence, mixed mode, co-ordination of samples in order to be able to link data, spreading of the response burden, use of data warehousing techniques;
  • Data collection: new collection techniques (web questionnaires, XBRL), how to use these techniques to reduce costs and optimise quality; reuse of administrative sources, use of suitable process metadata for monitoring production processes;
  • Estimation: when and how to use models to replace data collection, forecasting, back-casting, small domain estimation; how to report systematically on non-sampling errors.
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