Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Bureau of Labor Statistics > Office of Survey Methods and Research > Publications > Browse Research Papers

Decision Criteria For Using Automated Coding In Survey Processing

Daniel W. Gillman

Abstract

Some survey data are classified into pre-specified categories during a process known as coding. If a computer assigns codes without human interaction, then this is called automated coding. Manual coding, computer-assisted manual coding, and interactive coding all require some level of human interaction.

The decision to employ automated coding in survey processing is not simple. There are many options and expenses to consider. Some of these are as follows: 1.) who develops the software; 2.) what is an acceptable error rate; 3.) how will errors be controlled; 4.) what percent of the cases must the automated coder classify; 5.) how much maintenance will a production system require; and 6.) what new resources must be developed to build an automated coder.

These criteria and others are described in this paper. A cost model is developed along with a description of the interactions between the criteria. Finally, some examples are given to show how the model might be employed by a survey organization.