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Developing a Generalized Processing System Across Organizational Silos
*Anne Sigda Russell, U.S. Census Bureau 

Keywords: generalized systems, economic surveys

Since 1995, the U.S. Census Bureau has been committed to the development and implementation of a generalized processing system for processing current economic surveys. The goal was to reduce system development and maintenance costs while increasing timeliness for new surveys and improving processing tools for survey managers and staff. Twenty two surveys are now using the Standard Economic Processing System (StEPS ) to perform survey processing tasks including mailout, data collection, editing, imputation, estimation, data analysis, and management reporting. As a result, the Census Bureau was able to retire 16 legacy systems. Now, over 15 years later, a major redesign of StEPS is underway. This paper describes the evolution of generalized processing for the Census Bureau's current economic surveys, the strategies employed, the governance, lessons learned, benefits realized, and future directions.