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Open access

Bart Buelens and Jan A. Van den Brakel

Abstract

Nowadays sample survey data collection strategies combine web, telephone, face-to-face, or other modes of interviewing in a sequential fashion. Measurement bias of survey estimates of means and totals are composed of different mode-dependent measurement errors as each data collection mode has its own associated measurement error. This article contains an appraisal of two recently proposed methods of inference in this setting. The first is a calibration adjustment to the survey weights so as to balance the survey response to a prespecified distribution of the respondents over the modes. The second is a prediction method that seeks to correct measurements towards a benchmark mode. The two methods are motivated differently but at the same time coincide in some circumstances and agree in terms of required assumptions. The methods are applied to the Labour Force Survey in the Netherlands and are found to provide almost identical estimates of the number of unemployed. Each method has its own specific merits. Both can be applied easily in practice as they do not require additional data collection beyond the regular sequential mixed-mode survey, an attractive element for national statistical institutes and other survey organisations.

Open access

Piet J.H. Daas, Marco J. Puts, Bart Buelens and Paul A.M. van den Hurk

Abstract

More and more data are being produced by an increasing number of electronic devices physically surrounding us and on the internet. The large amount of data and the high frequency at which they are produced have resulted in the introduction of the term ‘Big Data’. Because these data reflect many different aspects of our daily lives and because of their abundance and availability, Big Data sources are very interesting from an official statistics point of view. This article discusses the exploration of both opportunities and challenges for official statistics associated with the application of Big Data. Experiences gained with analyses of large amounts of Dutch traffic loop detection records and Dutch social media messages are described to illustrate the topics characteristic of the statistical analysis and use of Big Data.