SPECIFYING RECODES AND DEFINED FIELDS
If the tables available in standard Census publications do not meet a user's needs, user-defined (customised) tables can be created. Customised tables often require the use of recodes and defined fields.
Recoding is the process of aggregating certain categories within a classification into a user-defined category. The recode must be based on the standard categories within that classification. A recode is typically used where a classification provides more detail than is required, and a client specifies that the full classification be regrouped into broader categories. For example, a client may wish to group categories 3 to 7 in the Individual Income classification to provide one aggregated income range between $1 and $799. Age is often recoded from single year of age into 5 or 10 year age groups. Some classifications such as Industry or Occupation are hierarchically structured. One client may specify data output at the detailed (for example, 4 or 6 digit) level of the classification, while another may request that categories in some parts of the classification be recoded to a broader level, while retaining the detailed level for other parts of the classification.
A defined field is a customised, or client-specified variable which is derived from existing Census variables. For example, a client may specify a defined field which combines a specific Occupation (e.g. Enrolled Nurse) with certain categories of Age (e.g. 25-40 years) to provide a customised variable. The client can then specify a title for the variable such as 'Nurses aged between 25 and 40 years'.
In most cases it is an easy process to order customised Census tables, and ABS Consultants are available to assist users in specifying required recodes and defined fields.