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An Evaluation of the Transition to the iCADE Data Capture System - Overview Report

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The American Community Survey (ACS) uses three sequential modes of data collection, starting with mail. The data capture of ACS mail forms changed in 2007 from a key-from-paper (KFP) system to a key-from-image (KFI) system known as iCADE (Integrated Computer Assisted Data Entry). The iCADE system was originally developed for use in the Economic Directorate and has expanded to support many domestic and international surveys and censuses. The ACS transition to iCADE was necessary because the fully implemented ACS stressed the KFP system and resulted in a sizeable backlog in the keying of ACS questionnaires. In addition, the KFP system was becoming obsolete and could not be fully supported. While necessary, this transition was also expected to decrease data capture backlogs resulting in enhanced timeliness and lower costs.

We are currently conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the ACS experience with this new capture system. This paper is the first in a series of papers on our findings. This report defines all of the steps involved in the iCADE system and presents the 2011 annual workloads associated with each of the steps requiring human intervention. This high-level view of the iCADE system provides basic information regarding the flow of forms through the data capture process.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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