13 Dec 2023

IASS Webinar 35: Enhancing the Credibility of Survey Data - Old Tricks and New Techniques in Improving the Respondent Experience

Date 13 Dec 2023
Time 13:00 GMT+01:00 - 14:30 GMT+01:00
Level of instruction Intermediate
Barbara Rater
Registration fee

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Webinar Abstract
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) produces more than 500 state and national reports a year and conducts a census of the nation’s 2.0 million farmers once every five years. At the heart of the Agency’s current data collection strategy is its ability to persuade a respondent to voluntarily respond to surveys. Respondents are becoming less willing to participate in surveys and demands for statistics and secure data access are becoming increasingly challenging. The gold standard to produce official statistics has been probability-based sample surveys for many years. Yet, the environment for obtaining information and providing statistical summaries to policy makers and the public is changing. At the same time, new technology and data sources provide opportunities to reduce the burden on the public by reducing the number of survey questions or even eliminating surveys while increasing timeliness, geographic or subpopulation detail, and statistical efficiency. This webinar will present practical approaches and techniques to data collection and provide examples of how technological advances and new procedures like the use of administrative and previously reported data can be used to enhance the experience for data providers and data users. This presentation will also share how the USDA-NASS plans to improve accessibility, ease of use, and access to data through modernizing data collection and product design.


Barbara Rater
Barbara Rater

About the instructor

Barbara Rater currently serves as director of the Census and Survey Division where she provides leadership and oversight to sustaining the high quality of United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) census and survey data collection processes. She has a wide range of professional experiences and has led national programs and spearheaded international initiatives related to the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of agricultural statistics. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of the Key Executive Leadership Program from American University’s School of Public Administration. Barbara has a passion for producing timely, quality results that can readily be used by decision makers to assess markets and policies and improve organizational performance and productivity.