First Combined SDMX/DDI Commercial Support

Space-Time Research today introduced Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) 2.0 and DDI 3.1 for its SuperSTAR software suite.

For the first time, government organizations wishing to share data will have commercially supported solutions for input and output of metadata rich SDMX statistics. Until now organizations that source data from a number of government departments have always experienced difficulty integrating statistical data for analysis.

SDMX 2.0 and DDI 3.1

Space-Time Research have implemented a RESTful API and input/output based on SDMX Technical Standards Version 2.0. This will enable a more comprehensive and meaningful capture and exchange of statistical data by government organizations. SDMX will ensure that metadata is always provided with data in a coherent and machine actionable way. The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Version 3.1 is an international XML standard for metadata describing social science data. DDI is used to document microdata data across its life cycle, facilitate exchange between processing systems and promote reuse of metadata across business processes or, in brief, “Do Data Intelligently”. SuperSTAR’s DDI support enables completely automated connectivity to microdata sources and has been tested on independently developed products.

SDMX is an initiative to foster standards for the exchange of statistical information sponsored by global organizations such as EUROSTAT, IMF, OECD, United Nations and the World Bank. The Data Documentation Initiative is a coalition of diverse international organizations that share a commitment to meeting the worldwide requirement of a standard for documenting social science data. The Alliance is an effort to create a self-sustaining membership organization whose members have a voice in the development of the standard. One of the lead architects of the DDI standard, Arofan Gregory, said “Support of the DDI by ISVs is critical for ensuring that the standard continues to capture all relevant life cycle information.”

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is committed to sharing statistical information with the public and with other organizations. The SDMX and DDI standards are a central part of our strategy to process and share data efficiently. The recent work completed by STR has shown how these standards can be linked with the best possible privacy protections techniques available to provide new flexible ways to access and use detailed statistical information. We are very pleased Space-Time Research has committed to these standards,” said Geoff Lee, senior executive in charge of the ABS’s Information Management Transformation Program.

“The SDMX and DDI standards are consistent with the vision and implementation of SuperSTAR. SDMX has been developed specifically for the exchange and sharing of statistical information. DDI is well aligned with the Generic Statistical Business Process Model and ideally suited for managing microdata through the statistical lifecycle. The SDMX standard is supported by recognized international bodies such as the OECD for low cost, high quality data sharing”, said Don McIntosh, Director of Product Marketing of Space-Time Research. “The standards facilitate our approach to ad hoc access to data by users because they focus on ensuring the correct meaning and understanding of the data. Space-Time Research supports the open XML format approach to sharing rich data and metadata.”

SuperSTAR 7.0

Also introduced in SuperSTAR 7.0 is support for social science survey data such as public health data, with integrated weighting and customizable privacy protection. SuperSTAR, the world’s leading Census tabulation and dissemination system can now be used for efficient confidentialized tabulation, analysis, online query-based access and dissemination of information acquired through official surveys.

Features of SuperSTAR 7.0 include:

  • RESTful web services based input and output of SDMX aggregated macro-level statistical data for efficient harmonization of machine level access to data, reducing organizational data sharing costs.
  • Input through file or authenticated HTTP access to DDI 3.1 data sources, ensuring smooth, automated workflow from data collection to processing and simplifying integration with enterprise systems.
  • Confidentiality for survey data, a long term issue with providing access to sparse survey data where privacy of respondents may be more at risk.
  • Remote Data Centre oriented software that reduces costs for organizations providing analytic query-based access to sensitive microdata for researchers and analysts.
  • Web services based integration of statistical data and geodata for multi-layered mash-ups of maps using ESRI ArcGIS 10 GIS solutions.
  • Support for viewing of survey results and the quality of the related data through Relative Standard Error (RSE) values so a user can see the data and RSE value side by side.
  • New RecordVIEW capability for SXV4 records to validate records for possible data errors and identify data anomalies.
  • Improved multilingual support in SuperWEB consistent with the global nature of SuperSTAR installations.
  • New interactive visualization tools for high performance dissemination and ad hoc analysis of data providing access to government data to a wider audience of users.

SuperSTAR 7.0 Platforms and Availability

The new functionality is part of SuperSTAR 7.0, which is available now. Microsoft Windows platforms and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5) are supported. Database support includes MS SQL Server and Oracle.

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