Statistical process control in mineral industry surveys.
Yu-C; Absalom-ST; McClaskey-L; Busse-J
Proceedings of the International Conference on Establishment Surveys: Survey Methods for Businesses, Farms and Institutions, June 27-30, 1993, Buffalo, New York. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association, 1993 Dec; :739-744
A major issue related to government surveys is the timely release of survey statistics to the public. Each month the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) conducts 22 Mineral Industry Surveys (MIS) and publishes a report on each for public dissemination. These monthly surveys collect production and consumption data from more than 2,600 establishments engaged in mining, mineral processing, and other mineral-related activities. The process of publishing the MIS data consists of four sequential phases of activity. These phases involve survey closeout, data processing, preparing the report for publication, and distributing the report to the public. The USBM established targets for completion of each phase of the publication process. The Branch of Statistics and Methods Development within the USBM routinely evaluates the success of each survey in meeting the targets. MIS timeliness reports are prepared and distributed on a monthly basis to appropriate organizational units. The USBM bas recently adopted the concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM). Customer satisfaction, employee involvement, and continuous improvement elements are being emphasized. Systematic approaches to quality improvement using statistical methods are being applied in a variety of USBM activities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential for Statistical Process Control (SPC), which is the heart of TQM, to facilitate the MIS publication process. Historical data from the monthly MIS timeliness reports were used to construct SPC charts for the 22 surveys. The charts were used to identify MIS processes that are under control and those which require special attention to bring into conformance with publication timeliness targets. Subsequently, the SPC charts were used to set priorities and evaluate the success of survey process adjustments.
Statistical analysis; Questionnaires; Surveillance; Mineral processing
Proceedings of the International Conference on Establishment Surveys: Survey Methods for Businesses, Farms and Institutions, June 27-30, 1993, Buffalo, New York