Recommendation 6-8: BLS should pursue a long-term research agenda that integrates new technology and administrative data sources as part of a continuous process improvement. The introduction of these elements should create reductions in data collection and processing costs, measurement error, and/or the statistical variance and complexity of the CPI estimate. The agenda should address the robustness of new technology and a cost/quality/risk trade-off of using external data.
The panel points to the value of a strong internal BLS research staff. It recommends further development and expansion of their research capabilities in order to respond to the rapidly changing contextual landscape for conducting national surveys.
Recommendation 6-9: BLS should increase the size and capability of its research staff to be able to effectively respond to changes in the contextual landscape for conducting national surveys and maintain (or improve) the quality of survey data and estimates. Of particular importance is to facilitate ongoing development of novel survey and statistical methods, to build the capacity for newer model-assisted and model-based estimation strategies required for today’s more complex survey designs and nonsampling error problems, and to build better bridges between researchers, operations staff, and experts in other organizations that face similar problems.
Facing the demands of the immediate redesign of the CE and use of tablet computers, the panel recommends BLS find additional expertise through outside experts and organizations.
Recommendation 6-10: BLS should seek to engage outside experts and organizations with experience in combining the development of tablet computer applications along with appropriate survey methods in developing such applications.
Finally, as described above, all three prototypes propose procedures and techniques that have not been researched, designed, and tested. The prototypes are contingent upon new research undertakings. Much “relevant” background theory and research exist, for which the BLS research program and Gemini Project deserve praise. However, they do not provide enough specific answers for these new options. Considerable investment