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Total Survey Error in Practice by Brady T. West, N. Clyde Tucker, Lars E. Lyberg, Frauke Kreuter, Brad Edwards, Stephanie Eckman, Edith de Leeuw, Paul P. Biemer

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21Establishing Infrastructure for the Use of Big Data to Understand Total Survey Error: Examples from Four Survey Research Organizations

Overview

Brady T. West

Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

This chapter is unique among the other chapters in this volume in that it draws on the experiences of four different survey organizations around the world that have used “big data” to try and understand the total error in their survey products. This is an important topic visited repeatedly throughout this edited volume, and the purpose of this chapter is to share the collective experiences of these four organizations, each of which are influential and highly active survey data producers. More specifically, the four subsections of this chapter focus on efforts made by these organizations to establish an infrastructure for the systematic collection, organization, management, and analysis of various sources of “big data” that have the potential to shed light on various sources of survey error.

The first subsection discusses these efforts at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg, Germany, and shares a success story with regard to the establishment of research data centers that enable outside researchers to access IAB data (including administrative data sources). The second subsection shares recent experiences of the U.S. Census Bureau with respect to the ...

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