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Setting the Standard for Quality Control in the United States Decennial Census

Jan Beise
12. Quality assurance
Paper by US Census Bureau (2004)

The Census Bureau has a long-standing tradition of high standards of quality for its census activities and the data collected during the census. To maintain those standards, we have implemented quality control (QC) operations to ensure enumeration and address listing/map updating operations followed established procedures. In the past, the process of designing these QC operations has been somewhat ad hoc in nature. That is, once the census operations were designed, appropriate QC operations were then planned and designed to check the quality of the work being done. Because the QC planning began after the production operations had already been designed, there was limited opportunity to integrate the QC into the production work, and so the capabilities and effectiveness of the QC may have been limited. This limitation was mostly manifested by our inability to get real-time information on the QC and provide feedback to the production operation to facilitate corrective actions and continuous improvement.

We are undertaking an effort to build the planning of QC into the production planning so that the QC operations are designed at the same time as the production operations. This enables the QC design to envision all of the vulnerabilities within an operation and address those vulnerabilities appropriately. For QC to be truly effective, it must address all aspects of an operation that may be subject to error or failure. With this new culture of concurrent planning, we hope to enhance our ability to ensure the quality of census processes and products.


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Created: 13 Years Ago
Last Modified: 13 Years Ago
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