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PDAs-Handheld Devices/Internet for

Census Data Collection

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Overview of the Presentation

Challenges with Paper-based Data Collection and


Processing
Moving to PDA/Handheld-based Data Collection and
Processing
PDAs: Key Features/Other Optional Features
Internet-based Census Data Collection
Benefits/Issues
Recommendations - Conclusions

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Paper-based Data Collection

Paper-and-Pencil Handheld
Interviewing
devices
Paper-based
Data Collection

Self-administrated
Questionnaire
Internet

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Challenges with Paper-based Data Collection/ Processing

Slow and time-consuming


Re-keying information is inefficient and
increases chance of error
Paper-based forms increase chance of error
Submitting multiple forms for a single
process
Cannot capture value-added data GIS
Data Integrity and Authenticity

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
PDA and Handheld Computer

Personal digital assistant:


A personal digital assistant (PDA) is a handheld
computer, also known as small or palmtop computers.
(Wikipedia)

PDA vs Handheld computer:


Handheld computer offers more features than a PDA
(larger than a PDA; smaller than a Laptop!)
Used interchangeably

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Paper-based Approach vs PDAs Approach

Data Collection Data Entry Data Coding/Editing


Paper-
based Manual
-Key entry/computer-assisted Manual
Approach - OMR/OCR/ICR Computer-assisted

Data Coding/Editing
Data Collection/Entry/Coding/Editing (partial)
PDA s Manual
Approach Automated/built-in Computer-assisted

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
PDA: Way of Functioning

Simultaneously data entering and data coding


Possibility to enter data in two ways: with selection from
the offered list of answers (or from classification in
hierarchical order ) or with typing a text
The next question could not be answered if the current
one is not answered
To have report of enumerated units (cumulative) in
each moment
To measure the time needed for enumeration of each
separate enumeration unit

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
PDAs - Key Features

Works like a Pocket Computer


Processor, RAM, ROM, Operating System
Applications can we loaded on the device
Device has processing power
Increases Productivity on the move
Data can be collected in digital format in the
field
Data can be directly uploaded into the server

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Cont

Connectivity Options
Data connectivity using GPRS /CDMA
Data Connectivity options using Wi-Fi (Wireless)
Data can be transferred by syncing with Computer:
wired connectivity via USB cable (PDAs connect to
computer)
Enhanced data storage
Increase storage capacity through add on SD cards
Optional features
Camera, Biometric, GPS, Add on Smart Card reader etc

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Two Types of Handheld devices:

Pen Based
Pocket PCs
o Stylus based input
o Data transfer through sync

Converged
Pocket PC with Connectivity
o Connected via GPRS / CDMA
o Options of Camera, GPS

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Three forms of data transfer (from HP)

Using PDA with data sync


option Option 1
Collect data Sync and
in the field transfer
data

Option 2
Using PDA inbuilt GPRS
capability Collect data Send data
in the field via Inbuilt
GPRS
Option 3
Using PDA in connection
with Bluetooth Phone /
Collect data Send data connected cable
in the field via phone

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Selection Criteria:

Data Input Method


Stylus, On device keyboard, Off Device Keyboard
Memory capacity
RAM:64-128 MB
ROM: Inbuilt ROM, Additional ROM via SD Card
Connectivity Options
Sync through computer, In-built GPRS/CDMA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Ruggedness
Regional Language Support
Arabic, English plus additional languages
Other Options
GPS, Camera, etc.

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Other Decision Making Criteria:

Real time data upload Vs Batch data upload

Recurring costs for data connectivity

Ease of data entry/Ease of holding device in one hand

Battery Life / Battery Charging Options

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Managing devices in the field: Some Considerations

How do we manage the devices in the field?

Data security?

Device security?

Application version on device?

Troubleshooting on device?

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Measures for data protection

Ensure protection from:


Loosing of already entered records
Ex-post data correction in entered records
Unauthorized using of data
Measures:
Biometric Security
Security for Wireless and GPRS
Encrypting Data
Make it solid (rugged?)
Make it ugly!

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Optional Features

The device can be enabled with GPS


to:
geo-reference units visited
(urban and rural)
track location of data entry
Positioning and guidance of the
enumerator
With Cellular, camera and OS
applications

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
PDAs Costs

Pocket PCs:
$300-$1200
Cost dependent on
User Interface
Upgrading
Economy of scale
Deployment issues

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Summary of Key Features

Integrated field platforms with GPS, cellular, camera and


OS applications
Real-time task management from office
Manage field time, expenses, etc.
Geographical and map processing
Data synchronization and management
Secure applications, procedures and protocols
Ability to encrypt data for secure transmission

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Self-administrated Questionnaire

Paper-and-Pencil Handheld
Interviewing
devices
Paper-based
Data Collection

Self-administrated
Questionnaire
Internet

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Internet-based Census Data Collection (eCensus)
Why?
Requested by the population (e.g. France)
E-Government Policy (e.g. Canada)
Some benefits
Accurate and timely data collection
Processing time reduced
Rapid availability of clean data for statistical analysis
Enhanced analytics
Reuse and consumption by multiple Departments
Enhanced Efficiency: eliminating layers, reducing staff and
costs

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Example: Canada Experience

Government On-Line (GOL) initiative


Census 2006:
73% Mail-out via Canada Post
Development and integration of Internet
application and processing was outsourced to
private sector
Target: 20% of initial response from the
Internet

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Example: European Census Organization Pilot for 2011

The pilot includes two key aspects:


eCensus (census online) and
Handheld devices.
They want to equip census takers with
hand-held devices to update addresses
nationwide, and for non-response follow up
or to input information during a canvass of
homes whose residents fail to submit
paper census surveys.

From RGI Conference on Technology


Options, IBM

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Recommendations for the use of PDAs

Think Integration People, Process, Technology

Build Partnership with:


Application development partner
Device Manufacturer
Connectivity provider
Capacity building supporter

Nodal Agency:
Operationalize the whole process

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Summary-Conclusions
1. The qualitative as well as quantitative benefits of handheld
devices have been proven in field in many countries
(Australia, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia, New Zealand, etc)
2. Various Options are available for selecting handheld devices

3. Clear identification of objective is required for selecting best


device
4. Important to have extensive training prior to deployment
5. Post implementation support technical as well as hardware
support ensures project success

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008
Thank You

UNSD Regional Workshop on Census Data Processing for the English speaking African Countries:
Contemporary technologies for data capture, methodology and practice of data editing
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 9-13 June 2008