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1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Sept 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2006   
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ABS@

Western Australian government employees are able to access ABS@ by using a web browser directly from their desktop with unlimited free access to all ABS published data, enabling convenient access to:

  • All ABS publications from 1998 onwards in Adobe Acrobat Format;
  • Over 2,000 spreadsheets containing economic and social time-series data;
  • Data Cubes in the form of multi-dimensional datasets in SuperTABLE and Excel;
  • 1996 and 2001 Census Data;
  • Information on concepts underlying ABS statistical collections;
  • A directory of sources of statistical information;
  • ABS@ also has the capacity to act as a container for ABS and non-ABS items, which can be submitted by individual agencies for other users to access and benefit from.

ABS@ training has been provided to a number of State Government Departments and agencies and we are happy to report that staff who have received training have been extremely pleased with the amount of useful data and information that is available from ABS@.

ABS data is a valuable source of information and the improved availability of this relevant, high quality data to State Government decision makers and planners will support continued research and inform policy formulation.

In addition to improving access to ABS data the Consultancy Container attached to ABS@ will be populated with data provided by other government agencies.

As part of the release of ABS@, many agency staff now have access to the ABS@ Consultancy Container through the web. It can be located by clicking on 'Information Consultancies' in the green menu bar on the left hand side of the consultancy screen.

What is the ABS@ Consultancy Container?

The ABS@ Container is a facility within ABS@ that enables the storage of data for access by WA government agencies. It is divided into two parts:

  • ABS Consultancies; and
  • Non-ABS Consultancies.

The ABS Consultancies part will contain consultancies undertaken for WA government agencies. With the permission of the agency purchasing a particular consultancy, the data will be placed in the Container for access by all other WA government agencies. This will enable free sharing of the data and reduce cost to the WA government as a whole.

The non-ABS Consultancies part can be populated with the data holdings of government agencies. If an agency holds data that is suitable for use by other WA Government agencies, it can have this data placed in the Container. This may be in a variety of forms such as agency reports, spreadsheets or even a hot link to where the data is stored on the agency's web site.

An inventory of WA government data holdings is being developed and will be included in the Container. This will provide metadata to describe the purpose and methodology in compiling the data and will address issues associated with suitability for use.

Importance of the ABS@ Consultancy Container

The ABS@ Container is available as part of the 12 month contract between the ABS and the WA government. At the end of this contract, the usefulness of ABS@, and the Container in particular, will be assessed to decide on whether it will continue to be made available.

As part of the National Statistical Service (NSS), the Container has been provided to increase the range of statistical information that can be easily accessed and shared across government agencies. The increased awareness of the statistics available will assist in better reporting, informed decision making and policy formulation.

The future of the Container will depend on its usage through the loading of data holdings and application of these for WA government purposes.Therefore, agencies are particularly encouraged to contribute statistical information for inclusion. This should be done in partnership with the WA ABS office with a view to maintaining and improving quality.

For further information, please contact your agency ABS@ representative.

For agencies involved in the initial roll out, ABS@ is now available online. For other agencies please contact National Information Referral Service 1300135 070.


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