Remote Access Systems for Statistical Analysis of Microdata

Discussion paper A remote access system is a facility where users can submit queries for statistical information from their own computer. These queries are handled by the statistical agency and the generated, possibly confidentialised, output is returned to the user. This way the agency still keeps control over its own data while the user does not need to make frequent visits to the agency.For some years, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) and Luxembourg Employment Study (LES) have made use of an advanced remote access system. At Statistics Netherlands and at other statistical institutes recently the need for a similar system has been expressed. In this paper, we discuss the characteristics, limitations and desired properties of a remote access system. We illustrate the discussion by the system used at LIS/LES.