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Statistics Canada Chooses Nesstar as Metadata Solution

OTTAWA, ON, 27 Feb. 2004 Nesstar Ltd. and Nesstar Americas Inc. is pleased to announce that Statistics Canada has acquired licenses for the NESSTAR suite of software.

“This software will be used to support a number of internal and external projects including data dissemination and the agency's own research and analysis activities. The reasons that Statistics Canada has selected NESSTAR are threefold: It is very powerful, yet easy to use; it adheres to an important data documentation standard called DDI (data documentation initiative) and; because of its ability link microdata files with the appropriate metadata and related data even when they reside on other servers. Furthermore, the agency is looking forward to the upcoming NESSTAR release which will support access and browsing for both micro and aggregate data.”

”The NESSTAR software is very powerful and easy to use when browsing through survey files while trying to find appropriate information for further analysis. The ability to select and visualize data makes it easy for users to focus their research. The interface is intuitive allowing staff to become acquainted with it quickly resulting in training cost savings, especially when compared to other statistical soft wares. The authoring/publishing toolkit is truly amazing as it accepts various data and text formats and converts them into XML for further processing and/or archiving. The data server also permits saving the selected data in a number of formats, an important feature for users in that they do not have to learn new statistical packages.“

”Starting in April of 2004, Statistics Canada will be using NESSTAR to standardize its codebooks and data files in support of its university data access program also known as the Data Liberation Initiative (DLI). Plans for DLI include the conversion of some 250 public use data files into the DDI format using the NESSTAR publisher function. The resulting metadata will be accessible on the Internet for students and researchers to use. NESSTAR's ability to work across servers makes it possible for this to be a truly cooperative initiative where different universities can contribute to the project. NESSTAR's multi-lingual capabilities were also an important factor in Statistics Canada's decision to acquire it.“

”Internal to the agency, Statistics Canada envisions NESSTAR's use in creating a research and analysis portal. The benefits that NESSTAR brings are similar to those sought by external users, i.e., the ability to browse, visualize and extract data that are relevant to the researcher's needs. Its ability to integrate survey level information with aggregate tables and text files makes it ideal as a research support tool. The ability to standardize the data and metadata files serves today's and tomorrow's users. Archived survey files will ensure that the data remain accessible over time and that survey components will be reusable. NESSTAR will make it possible for Statistics Canada to manage its survey files as a collection rather than as a series of 'stove pipes'. Statistics Canada looks forward to working with the NESSTAR teams and with other NESSTAR users in the future.”

Ernie Boyko
Director, Library and Information Centre Statistics Canada Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6

The adoption of the NESSTAR suite of tools by Statistics Canada further supports investment made by Health Canada into the same core technology.

NESSTAR software is an integrated suite of products aimed at facilitating the location and use of socio-economic, and similarly structured, data. It has been developed at the UK Data Archive in the University of Essex and the Norwegian Social Science Data Services in Bergen building upon the R&D of the EC funded NESSTAR and FASTER projects and is owned by Nesstar Ltd.

Nesstar Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Inc., was formed in 2003 through a relationship agreement with Nesstar Ltd. to deliver and support the Nesstar suite of products to the North American marketplace.

Nesstar Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK Data Archive and the Norwegian Social Science Data Services.

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