At the Bank we now use a formal cost benefit analysis (CBA) framework to assess any requests for data to be added to our regular collection. We are also in the process of reviewing our existing data collection using CBA. Our aim is to ensure that the costs imposed on reporting institutions are warranted by the benefits that users obtain from our data.
Concerns over reporting costs are shared with other statistical organisations, though there is little experience so far of applying CBA to the provision of statistics. So in some areas we have had to develop the framework, rather than simply following established techniques already in use elsewhere. We also spent time talking to other institutions as part of the project, learning from others' experiences.
We have published the CBA Handbook. This draws together all the work to date. We hope that this will prove useful for any other institution planning on developing similar techniques, as well as giving reporting institutions an insight into the scrutiny applied to our data collections. We have also published the cost benefit analysis tool which was developed along with guidelines on its use.
CBA is a dynamic framework that will evolve, not least as we learn more about how data are used and the factors that determine banks' statistical reporting costs.