Quality was defined in the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 8402-1986 standard as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs,” which slightly changed in ISO updates. However, regarding quality in statistics, “stated or implied needs” are mainly identified by considering several quality dimensions, criteria, or components for the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistical information for the public (see, for example, Eurostat, 2002a, 2002b; Office of Management and Budget [OMB], 2002; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2003; Statistics Canada, 2003; Statistics Finland, 2002).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Timeliness: It reflects the length of time between the data’s availability and the occurrence of the event or phenomenon they describe.
Coherence of Statistics: This describes the adequacy of statistics to be reliably combined in different ways and for various uses.
Comparability: It is the extent to which differences between statistics are attributed to differences between the true values of the statistical characteristic.
Quality Indicators: These are indicators measuring the quality of statistics produced and can be classified into being producer oriented or user oriented.
Total Quality Management (TQM): TQM is a management approach of an organization centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members, and aimed at long-term success through customer satisfaction and benefits to all members of the organization and to society.
Accuracy in Statistics: This denotes the closeness of computations or estimates to the exact or true values.
Break in Time Series: When data collected in a specific year are not fully comparable with the data of the previous and/or following years, we say that we have a break in the time series.
Statistical Information System (SIS): It is the information system oriented toward the collection, storage, transformation, and distribution of statistical information.
Statistical Metadata: They are data about statistical data. They describe statistical data and, to some extent, processes and tools involved in the production and usage of statistical data.
Quality Function Deployment (QFD): It is a decision-making technique used in product or service development, brand marketing, and product management transforming customer needs into engineering characteristics of a product or service (also called house of quality).
Clinical Trial or Study: A clinical trial is a research study to answer specific questions about vaccines, new therapies, or new ways of using known treatments. Clinical trials (also called medical research and research studies) are used to determine whether new drugs or treatments are both safe and effective.