Hays by linxiaoqin


									Listening to Respondents
    for Better Results

  Alexander Hays
  Distributive Trades Division
  Statistics Canada

                 ICES III - Montréal, Canada

The Statistics Act
   Inter-provincial Wholesale Commodity Survey
   Annual Retail Chain Survey
Response Rates
Beginning the Collaborative Process
Action Plan
Consultative Results
Actions from the Consultation
Respondent Reaction
Continuing Challenges
                 ICES III - Montréal, Canada
              The Statistics Act

Grants Statistics Canada the
authority to collect, compile,
analyse, and publish information.

Gives Statistics Canada the
authority to collect the necessary
information directly from
respondents, and for business
surveys, makes the reporting
                  ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                The Statistics Act

Considers refusal or the
provision of false or
misleading information a
criminal offence subject to

Statistics Canada has
hesitated in the past from
taking legal action for

                   ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                   Statistics Canada has
                           favoured a
                      approach working
                       towards a viable
                    solution satisfactory to
                         both parties.

ICES III - Montréal, Canada
Inter-provincial Wholesale Commodity

      Origin and destination by commodity
      Measures the value of inter-provincial
      trade by Canadian wholesalers.
      Better understanding of provincial growth
      and measures of Gross Domestic Product
      (GDP) by province.
      1990, 1996, 2001.
      Preset list of 103 commodities.

         ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                     Annual Retail Chain Survey

Operating and financial characteristics of domiciled retail
corporate chain stores and department stores.
Better understanding of provincial economic growth and
measures of GDP by province.
Retail Chain – 4 or more retail locations.
Location-based survey (individual chain stores)
Revenue and major expense items at the store location

                    ICES III - Montréal, Canada

 Data Needs

Data Availability

               ICES III - Montréal, Canada
        Inter-provincial Wholesale Commodity

Single: one province / territory,
one NAICS industry
                                         Year         Complexity   Response Rate
Complex: either one province /
territory, multi NAICS or one           2001            Single         34.7
NAICS, multi province / territory
                                        2001           Complex         40.0

Very Complex: multi province /          2001      Very Complex         36.8
territory and more than one
NAICS industry

                        ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                         Annual Retail Chain Survey

           Response rates on revenue and expense variables
                       at the store location level
       Operating         Labour                Operating    Cost of Goods
Year   Revenue        remuneration             Expenses          Sold

1999     57.2             36.7                       38.1       38.1

2000     46.2             36.7                       39.5       39.2

2001     58.0             40.0                       45.6       44.3

2002     65.7             48.9                       52.7       52.1

2003     55.7             43.7                       46.7       47.5
                       ICES III - Montréal, Canada
 Respondents willingness and ability to answer
      understand the question
      understand the concept
      understand the terminology used
      appropriateness of the question

Question: Were the two surveys too onerous to complete?

                     ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                  Beginning the Process –
      Inter-provincial Wholesale Commodity

The 2001 survey was treated as a supplement to the
Annual Wholesale Trade (Financial) Survey.
Did the supplement allow respondents the choice
between completing 1 of the 2 aspects of the
questionnaire under time or ease of data availability
Were the pre-set commodities not relevant to the
wholesale operation in question?
Was origin and destination information not readily
available from company books and records?
                   ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                          Beginning the Process –
                             Annual Retail Chain Survey

   Studied ways to reduce and simplify the questionnaire to increase
   response rates.
   Could model individual store level expenses and attain comparable
   The 3 expense variables at the store location level were removed for the
   2004 reference year.
   Some of our clients expressed concerns.
   Decided to study further:

 1.   Study: Impact on provincial – territorial gross margins.
 2.   Go to the respondent to find other opportunities to improvement the
      questionnaire and to understand reporting concerns.

Question: How could we allay client concerns and improve response rates?

                           ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                Collaborative Approach

                Action Plan:
                    Work with Questionnaire
                    Design and Resource Centre
                    Mock up sample questionnaires
                    that meet the data
                    requirements of Statistics
                    Test questionnaires on
                    selected respondents

ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                                       Action Plan

Inter-provincial Wholesale Commodity Survey
  27 one-on-one interviews.
  Wholesalers operating in a variety of NAICS classifications.
  Wholesalers operating from either one of Canada’s 3 largest cities.

Annual Retail Chain Survey
  23 one-on-one interviews.
  Retailers operating in a variety of NAICS classifications.
  Retailers with accounting functions operating out of Toronto or

                         ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                   Consultative Results –
   Inter-provincial Wholesale Commodity

Origin of commodity more difficult than destination
– wholesalers are sales driven.
Origin – billing or shipping address?
STC commodity list has no bearing on
respondents product lines.
Once a reporting mistake is made – tend to be
repeated year after year.
Reporting guides are not read.
One-on-one personalized help is often needed,
e.g., Enterprise Portfolio Management Program.
                ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                      Consultative Results –
                    Annual Retail Chain Survey

Due to the large number of store locations, a fully
functional spreadsheet or relational database application
would make it easier to complete the survey.

Respondents were happy that the 3 expense variables
were removed.

Adding additional variables would require respondents to
seek help from inside their organization, e.g., systems
                   ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                        Actions from the Consultation

Annual Retail Chain                       Inter-provincial Wholesale
  Survey                                     Commodity Survey
                                              Fully integrate the questionnaire
                                              into the Annual Wholesale Survey.
  The 3 expense variables not                 3-tier collection strategy based on
  re-added to questionnaire.                  company size.
                                                   Mail-out / Mail-back
  The electronic version of the                    Telephone Assistance
  questionnaire was made more                      On-site collection
  user-friendly.                              Eliminate the commodity
                                              Conduct a pilot project due to
                                              unproven collection strategy.

                          ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                       Respondent Reaction

Annual Retail Chain Survey               Inter-provincial Wholesale
                                            Commodity Survey
  The simple reduction of the 3              Pilot project, although still on-
  expense variables turned-around            going, is showing a 60% return
  many non-compliant respondents.            with some level of origin &
  Improved Response Rates                    destination.
                                             So far 59% of most complex
 Year     Operating Revenue
 1999            57.2
                                             companies responding to origin &
 2000            46.2                        destination.
 2001            58.0                        Telephone assistance in
 2002            65.7                        completing the questionnaire is
 2003            56.7
                                             helping to convert non or partial
 2004            78.6                        response.
 2005            74.6

                         ICES III - Montréal, Canada
                                         Continuing Challenges

Inter-provincial Wholesale                   Annual Retail Chain Survey
   Commodity Survey
  Obtaining information still requires           Though response rates improved
  a lot of time and effort.                      greatly, and the study on the
                                                 Impact on Provincial Gross
                                                 Margins showed little degradation
  Acknowledgement of need for                    in store level estimates, work
  personalized assistance, but no                continues in understanding the
  enterprise has agreed to on-site               financial differences and the
  collection by a Statistics Canada              decision making process at the
  representative.                                store level.            Cost
                                                 Trade-off between
                                                              Quality        Burden
                             ICES III - Montréal, Canada

Information collection will always remain a contentious
Respondent’s perspective – surveys are time consuming
and can be conceptually impractical.
Listening to respondents can be a win-win situation.
Respondents:                              Statistics Canada
   Fewer questions = less burden               Better understanding by the
   Questionnaires structured to                respondent on the need for the
   respondent data sources.                    data.
   Better understanding by                     Better understanding of record
   Statistics Canada on                        keeping and reporting capability.
   respondents concerns.                       Better response rates.
                       ICES III - Montréal, Canada
Listening to Respondents
for Better Results


                 ICES III - Montréal, Canada

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