Coordinator: Defeng Ma
University of Edinburgh

Project description

The Web has had a profound impact on the way National Statistical Institutes publish data. Europe is moving towards a global market and providers of official statistics will have to work in this context. MISSION aims to provide a software solution that will address the issues raised by this context. It will utilise the advances in statistical techniques for data harmonisation, the emergence of agent technology, the availability of standards for exchanging metadata and the power of Internet information retrieval tools.

The result will be a modular software suite aimed at enabling providers of official statistics to publish data in a unified framework, and allowing users to share methodologies for comparative analysis and harmonisation. The modules are distributed over the web and communicate via agents. Several scenarios are possible including that of a third party Independent Metadata Provider.

A software suite allowing statistical data providers to publish data on the Web, satisfying the following criteria:

  • suppliers of official statistics can subscribe to an integrated network of datastores via an interface to their existing data;
  • suppliers retain control over all aspects of access to their existing data;
  • users can make requests in a declarative manner, with a minimum of understanding of statistics, or the domain area, and still retrieve meaningful results;
  • users can tailor their working environment, from simple requests to detailed in-depth analysis;
  • methods of data manipulation and analysis can be retained, re-used and published;
  • libraries of metadata can be constructed and made available to other users;
  • a flexible architecture allows third parties to act as Independent Metadata Providers, thus encouraging free exchange of knowledge;
  • users can build up individual profiles, accessing data and methods most relevant to their needs.