The Data Quality Reference Site (DQRS) is part of the IMF's ongoing effort to stimulate dialogue and develop a common understanding of data quality. Drawing from the IMF's experience in macroeconomic statistics and from contributions from the international statistical community, the site introduces definitions of data quality, describes trade-offs among different aspects of data quality, and gives examples of evaluations of data quality.
This site is expected to evolve over time. Questions, comments, and suggestions, including suggestions about additions are welcome. Please send any such correspondence via e-mail to email@example.com.
The DQRS seeks to support different approaches to research on macroeconomic data quality. It contains a list of Annotated Reference Materials on Macroeconomic Data Quality, as well as Reference Materials. It also highlights Work on Macroeconomic Data Quality by IMF Staff and supplies information on conferences and meetings on macroeconomic data quality (Conferences and Meetings on Data Quality). The site also makes available links to related sites (Links to Related Sites); for example, to Reports on the Observances of Standards and Codes data modules (Data ROSCs), the IMF's Data Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB), and IMF data (IMF.Stat).
The DSBB provides information on the Fund's Data Standards Initiatives. An important contribution of the IMF to data quality is the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). The SDDS identifies best practices in the dissemination of economic and financial data in four dimensions: data coverage, periodicity, and timeliness; public access to the data; integrity of the data; and data quality. In this context, quality refers to characteristics such as accuracy, adherence to international statistical guidelines, and consistency. The General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) takes a similar approach to data quality, with emphasis on improvements over the long-term. For countries with systemically important financial sectors, the SDDS has been enhanced and supplemented with the creation of the SDDS Plus, which is intended to address further the data gaps revealed in the recent global financial crisis.
In addition, the IMF has prepared a framework for assessing the quality of data used for macroeconomic analysis. The DQRS provides a link to the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF), an integrated and flexible framework in which data quality is assessed using a six-part structure that spans institutional environments, statistical processes, and characteristics of the statistical products. In May 2012 the generic DQAF and most of the topical DQAFs were updated (from the July 2003 versions). The update of the external debt version of the DQAF is under preparation.