Chapter 20 - Management of information technology
Information Technology is an integral part of the ABS. The Technology Services Division (TSD) serves the ABS with high-quality information and technology leadership, and supports the organisation in providing an effective statistical service. The ABS leverages advances in information technology and business process improvement techniques to enhance the capability, efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation. A nationwide computing and communications infrastructure supports the ABS in all its locations. Close alignment between TSD and the business areas is a strong focus of our organisational arrangements.
Under the guidance of the Information Resource Management Committee (see chapter 18), the ABS has continued to cost effectively manage information technology facilities to:
There have been a number of key achievements relating to the Census of Population and Housing during 2005–06:
- enhance ABS capacity to respond to new demand
- support increased access to statistics
- ensure the security of sensitive data and statistics
- enhance productivity by fostering effective use of the IT environment
- support innovative and productive ways of working, and
- maintain security vigilance for the ABS and its environment.
The ABS also deployed a demonstration National Data Network in partnership with a number of other agencies. The National Data Network is a platform for sharing and integrating statistical data relevant to policy and research. It uses open source technology and approaches to maximise opportunities for collaborative development. More information can be found in chapter 11.
- development of the eCensus, in partnership with IBM, which will allow people to complete their 2006 Census online
- use of online facilities for recruitment of 30,000 people around the country
- introduction of SMS and voice technology to communicate with the national Census team
- implementation of improved database technology to speed the processing and release of the data
- utilisation of new web based dissemination facilities for accessing and using the results from the 2006 Census.
A new Business Process Management Framework has been introduced by the ABS and it is being used to identify and implement improvements in processing both economic and population statistics. New approaches to working with data providers have also been implemented with the following features:
The ABS has also developed a more integrated system for household surveys to streamline the development and processing of surveys.
- improved systems for coordinating contact
- more sophisticated telephony management
- enhanced data transformation services
- improved systems for interviewers.
Technology has been implemented to automate statistical techniques for editing, estimation and imputation. These facilities allow the ABS to use common and proven methodological approaches across different areas of statistics and to measure and improve quality. The ABS has also expanded the remote access data laboratory service, which allows approved researchers to submit requests for analyses of ABS data.