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Dealing with Business and Organizational Data - Insights from the Data Service Centre for Business and Organizational Data, Bielefeld University

Presenter 1
Alexia Meyermann
Bielefeld University

Organizational research in Germany has up to now not developed a tradition of secondary analysis - most of the studies rely on primary data collection but are confronted with dramatically decreasing participation rates - most of the studies report response rates between 5 and 15 percent. This - and the fact that standards of documenting organizational data do not exist - increase the need for institutionalized data sharing. Thus, the Data Service Centre for Business and Organizational Data at Bielefeld University began in 2010 to collect, archive and distribute business and organizational data from the social sciences and several other disciplines. The goal is to bridge the gap between data producers and data users across different disciplines by providing an institutional and technical framework. Our presentation focuses on certain problems that specifically arise from dealing with business and organizational data in various aspects. We would like to discuss the specifics of documenting studies with organizations as the analysis unit compared to individual or household data. This will yield some insights into the complexities of organizational data (hierarchical structures). The requirements of metadata documentation will be discussed from a methodological and a substantial point of view and our solutions will be presented.

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