Methodology - Digital economy and society


Eurostat and the National Statistical Offices have developed a Methodological Manual for the surveys on ICT usage in enterprises and households.

Main objective of this manual is to provide guidelines for

  • developing the national surveys
  • help harmonise the national surveys
  • help share experiences of the countries
  • best practice gathering

Detailed metadata to both surveys is available through the icon  in Tables and Database. It contains also links to national survey details (per country) or to footnotes for specific indicators.

ICT impact assessment by linking of microdata

ESSnet on Linking of Microdata to Analyse ICT Impact (ESSLait), 2013

The ESSLait project built on its predecessor, the ESSLimit Project (2010-2012), and had as a general scope:

  • to apply and improve the methodology for data linking and ICT impact analysis that was developed in the ESSLimit Project and the ICT Feasibility Study (see below), and
  • to generate micro-aggregate datasets for future use.

The earlier projects demonstrated that a wealth of information can be extracted by microdata linking, through which already available information can be analysed in completely new ways. This final phase of ICT impacts work fits well with the goals of the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics, MEETS programme (i.e. efficient production of statistics and secondary use of data) while the analytical work relates to the themes of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The project involved partners from 14 European statistical offices, supported by academic advisors. It used the general infrastructure developed by its predecessor projects to link and to coordinate the data management in the European statistical offices. This infrastructure enables a harmonized approach to analyse the impact of ICT usage by firms through the Distributed Microdata (DMD) approach. A common protocol is used to extract micro-aggregated information from each country's firm-level datasets. This involves the linking of firm-level datasets by participating statistical offices, and the subsequent application of a common software tailored to extract the indicators and statistical moments (means, distributions, etc) from the data. This approach guarantees the cross-country comparability of results to the highest possible degree while still allowing to obtain information on underlying distributions and correlations without impairing national rules of confidentiality. Moreover, the infrastructure allows external researchers to run their own tests on data: harmonized microdata onsite at national statistical offices enable the easy implementation of additional analyses by writing analytical add-on modules for the code.

Project documents and micro-aggregated data: