Microdata Access Program - December 2010

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Consultation methodology

The Client Services Division moderated informal discussions with clients and stakeholders of the Research Data Centre (RDC) and the Federal Research Data Centre (FRDC). Four sessions were held: one with representatives from five subject matter areas who provide data and support to the RDCs; another with the Canadian RDC Network executive committee (8 participants); and two with researchers from the FRDC (9 participants).

How to get involved

This consultation is now closed.

Individuals who wish to obtain more information or to take part in a consultation should contact Statistics Canada through the Statistical Information Service.

Please note that Statistics Canada selects participants for each consultation to ensure feedback from a representative sample of the target population for the study. Not all applicants are asked to participate in a given consultation.

Results

This update from the 2007/2008 consultations provided worthwhile feedback. FRDC staff provides excellent client service to the participants with most technical issues being resolved quickly. Communication with Statistics Canada at all levels of the program is very good. Participants also noted satisfaction with the increased number and types of data now available in the RDCs.

Communication about how to access the data and navigate the proposal and access process has been an issue. New researchers felt there should be orientation sessions on how the centre operates.

At a higher level, the cost of FRDC access is considered to be expensive by some departments. Additionally, the FRDC equipment is aging, and will need to be replaced soon.

Recommendations

Four improvements were recommended:

  • Quicker data access
  • More software options (SAS is too limiting, SPSS compatibility is required)
  • Greater system functionality
  • Real time remote access to Census data, the Labour Force Survey and the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics

Statistics Canada thanks participants for their participation in this consultation. Their insights guide the Agency's web development and ensure that the final products meet users' expectations.

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