Online Program

The Use of Electronic Reporting and Other Electronic Tools for Data Providers
Shirin A. Ahmed, U.S. Census Bureau 
*Nancy A. Piesto, U S Census Bureau 

Keywords: Electronic response, e-filing, economic surveys, response strategies

Electronic reporting has become a viable reporting solution for data providers in business surveys and censuses. For this reason, the U.S. Census Bureau has aggressively expanded the use of electronic reporting for its economic surveys and censuses. The Census Bureau has also improved tools to assist respondents. It improved its Business Help Site (BHS) to assist data providers in managing their data reporting and to improve response rates. The BHS is vital in three major areas: information, communication, and confidential transactions. Respondents can communicate confidential information electronically through the Secure Messaging Center (SMC). The Census Bureau created the SMC to provide secure email capabilities. The use of electronic reporting and these other electronic tools help reduce respondent burden and give respondents flexibility to manage their time to complete a survey or census. Electronic reporting also improves data with built-in edits that check respondent entries. We will describe how the use of electronic reporting and other electronic tools assist respondents as well as improve the timeliness of data processing and data quality.