TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Canadian Census Going Online

Re: Canadian Census Going Online
2 May 2006 12:00:10 -0700

Stefanie Kranjec wrote:

> By Stefanie Kranjec

> Canada is joining a small club of countries that is bringing the
> census into the Internet age, and aims to have 20 percent of
> respondents fill out their surveys online this year.

Modern data processing got its start with the U.S. Census.

Because the 1880 census took so long to tabulate, the Census Bureau
sought a way to improve it. Herman Hollerith developed a punched card
system that proved to be far faster. He started a business that
evolved into IBM.

Many information system people today forget the basic premise of
Hollerith's system, which was that information should only be keyed in
once, then used multiple times. Once a data record (a punched card)
was created in the Hollerith system, it could be sorted and tabulated
in many different ways to produce subtotals and totals organized by a
variety of means.

People also forget today the importance of good categorization and
coding of data and often try to shove a "one size fits all" solution.

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