Statistical Information Service Evaluation

Consultation objectives

During the 2012/2013 fiscal year, Statistics Canada's Statistical Information Service (SIS) was evaluated to assess its ability to meet the information needs of its clients.

This evaluation allowed clients who use this service to provide feedback and to express their level of satisfaction with the services they received. Feedback is to be used in planning future improvements to the services.

Consultation method

Statistics Canada contacted a sample of SIS users through email or by telephone to invite them to complete an online questionnaire. Participation was voluntary, and a total of 325 users participated, representing a 23% response rate.

Participation profile

Participants came from a number of sectors, with education accounting for 27%, government 26% and business 24%. Non-profit organizations represented 10% of participants, and retired employees 6%.

How to get involved

This consultation is now closed.

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

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

Results

Method of communication

According to consultation results, nearly three-quarters of SIS users contacted the service via email, while the remainder did so by telephone.

Topics of interest

SIS clients sought information on a number of topics. Demography/population was the most popular, as 12% of clients requested information on this topic.

Clients were also interested in information on income, pensions, spending and wealth (7%), families, households and housing (7%), labour (5%), education, training and learning (5%), and ethnic diversity and immigration (5%).

Type of information sought

Among SIS users, 60% were looking for data or information on a specific topic for a specific geographic region.

Other common reasons for using the service included looking for help to interpret data (11%), seeking information on jobs at Statistics Canada (10%), needing help navigating the website (10%) and obtaining a product or service (5%).

Success rate

Overall, 83% of SIS clients obtained what they were looking for. Success rates varied according to how users communicated with the service, with email achieving an 80% success rate and telephone an 89% success rate.

Overall client satisfaction

Clients who contacted the SIS by telephone were likelier to express overall satisfaction with the service they received, as 88% reporting being very satisfied or satisfied compared with 78% of clients who communicated via email.

Timeliness of service

People who contacted the service by telephone were also likelier to express satisfaction with respect to the timeliness of the service (89% versus 82% of those who used email).

Clear communications

How users contacted the SIS also had an impact on communication success. Overall, 85% of clients who contacted the SIS by telephone reported being very satisfied or satisfied with the ability of SIS staff to understand their needs, compared with 75% of those who used email.

In addition, 88% of clients who contact the SIS via telephone claimed to be very satisfied or satisfied with the clarity of communications with SIS staff, compared with 79% of those who used email.

Use of official language

Nearly 90% of clients expressed satisfaction over the language in which they were served.

General observations

SIS users who participated in the survey generally provided positive feedback, indicating that the service was timely and useful, and that SIS staff were courteous, pleasant, friendly and knowledgeable.

Recommendations

Some SIS users also provided recommendations for improvement, such as increasing the timeliness of responses to requests sent through email and enhancing access to information agents via telephone.

Statistics Canada is taking steps to implement the recommendations.

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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