
Date: 20030610
Source: TBG7 Statistics
0. INTRODUCTION This specification provides the definition of the Generic statistical message (GESMES) to be used in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between trading partners involved in administration, commerce and transport.
1. SCOPE
1.1 Functional definition The compilation of statistics is a continuous chain starting with raw data collection, followed by a number of harmonization and aggregation processes leading to aggregated statistical data. Raw data collection is realized by means of surveys, sampling, direct reporting from individuals, economic operators. Harmonization and aggregation processes are very often handled by statistical bodies or authorized economic operators in case of direct reporting. A Generic Statistical Message (GESMES) is used by an organisation involved in this elaboration process to transmit a statistical data set. It permits the transmission of the following, either in the same and/or different messages: the statistical concepts comprising the data set and their structure if required, all related information ( code sets, labels, methodological notes, footnotes, etc.), the statistical figures of the data set. This message could be used by producers and users of statistical information such as: National Statistical Offices, ministries, private and public administrations, private companies etc.
1.2 Field of application The Generic statistical message may be used for both national and international applications. It is based on universal practice related to administration, commerce and transport, and is not dependent on the type of business or industry.
1.3 Principles The structure of statistical information to be exchanged is quite simple and could be defined as multidimensional array or chronological series. The difficulty of using or exchanging statistical data comes the varieties of interpretations of those structures. The interpretation varies from one statistical domain to another depending on the content. Another key factor is the volume: statistical indicators have many dimensions (e.g. time, classifications depending on statistical nomenclatures), dense and sparse series of matrices could be present simultaneously for the same indicator. The GESMES message may be used to exchange statistical data for all statistical domains in a variety of formats together with their descriptions.
The data in the data set (i.e. the array) is contained in a generic segment (ARR  Array). The interpretation of the ARR segment is provided in segment group 8. GESMES is designed to support all types of statistical exchange, including time series, which can be described by means of statistical concepts (i.e. statistical terms or objects). Associated with statistical data are textual information defining comprehensively the series and matrices, the underlying statistical concept or methodology. This is often referred to as metadata and corresponds to associated information which is required to interpret basic data, such as headlines, stubs, comments and footnotes.
The acronym, GESMES, stands for Generic Statistical Message and comprises a number of parts:
i) Identification of administrative information concerning the interchange partners (Gr. 2)
ii) Footnotes associated with value lists, statistical concepts and data set structures (Gr. 1)
iii) Value lists of coded or non coded items to be used in this message or in a future message (Gr. 4)
iv) Definition of statistical concepts to be used in this message or in a future message (Gr. 7).
v) Definition of the structure of array data to be used in this message or in a future message, and the allocation of a unique identity to this definition (Gr. 8).
vi) Identification of one or more data sets (Gr. 11). For each data set: the identity of the structure definition to be used to interpret the array data (Gr. 12); the scope, value lists or fixed values which are local to the data set (Gr. 13 and 14); the array data (ARR); footnotes associated with the data set (Gr. 18, 19 and 20).
2. REFERENCES See UNTDID, Part 4, Chapter 2.3 UN/ECE UNSM  General Introduction, Section 1.
3. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
3.1 Standard terms and definitions See UNTDID, Part 4, Chapter 2.3 UN/ECE UNSM  General Introduction, Section 2.
4. MESSAGE DEFINITION
4.1 Data segment clarification This section should be read in conjunction with the segment table which indicates mandatory, conditional and repeating requirements. 