1001.0 - Australian Bureau of Statistics -- Annual Report, 2007-08  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/12/2008   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Section V - Performance Information >> Chapter 12 - Communication of statistics

INTRODUCTION

During 2007–08, the ABS continued to assist and encourage informed decision making, research and discussion, by increasing accessibility to the outputs of statistical activities, usually released through publications, spreadsheets and datacubes. All publications back to 1994 can be accessed free-of-charge via the ABS website, while a selection of current hard copy publications are available for purchase. A complete collection of ABS hard copy publications, including historical publications and microfiche, is held with the National Library and each state/territory library. Some public and university libraries also keep selected holdings.

In addition, confidentialised unit record files are available for some collections and can be accessed, under strict conditions, by authorised users.

Dissemination methods are underpinned by the ABS’ core value of independence and impartiality. The ABS complies with this value by:

  • ensuring that all potential users have equal opportunity to access ABS statistics

  • assigning product release dates and times in advance, which are publicised on the website in the ABS Release Advice, and

  • placing all releases, and the information they contain, under an embargo until the scheduled release time.

    MESSAGE FROM THE AUSTRALIAN STATISTICIAN

    In order to ensure impartiality and integrity of ABS statistics, it is standard ABS policy and practice to make all our statistical releases available on our website to all government, commercial and public users of our statistics, simultaneously from 11.30 am (Canberra time) on the day of their release. Prior to 11.30 am, all ABS statistics are treated as confidential and regarded as ‘under embargo’.

    I am granting access to a limited range of statistical products under embargo when there is high public interest in an issue of direct and substantial relevance to the statistics being released; a relevant government minister is highly likely to be asked to provide public comment on the statistics shortly after their official release; and/or the release is sufficiently complex that some advanced analysis of the statistics and preparation of a ministerial brief by officials is considered essential. This is to ensure initial comments made by relevant ministers regarding the headline features are well informed, thereby minimising the risk of misleading the public or, particularly, the financial markets, on an issue of national importance.

    Access to statistical products under embargo will be facilitated through a secure lock-up or, in the case of the quarterly release of the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0), by means of a restrictive pre-release arrangement with the Australian Government Treasury.

    Attendees at the lock-ups are required to sign security undertakings which include provision for prosecution under the Crimes Act, 1914 for anyone breaching the conditions for attending the lock-up

    From 1 February 2008, the following products were provided to authorised persons via ABS hosted lock-ups on the morning of the day of their release:

  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia—quarterly (cat. no. 5302.0)

  • Labour Force, Australia—monthly (cat. no. 6202.0)

  • Labour Force, Australia—spreadsheets, monthly (cat. no. 6202.0.55.001)

  • Consumer Price Index, Australia—quarterly (cat. no. 6401.0)

  • Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product—quarterly (cat. no. 5206.0)

  • International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia—monthly (cat. no. 5368.0)

  • Housing Finance, Australia—monthly (cat. no. 5609.0)

  • Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia—quarterly (cat. no. 5625.0)

  • Business Indicators, Australia—quarterly (cat. no. 5676.0)

  • Labour Price Index, Australia—quarterly (cat. no. 6345.0)

  • Producer Price Indexes, Australia—quarterly (cat. no. 6427.0)

  • Retail Trade, Australia—monthly (cat. no. 8501.0)

  • Building Approvals, Australia—monthly (cat. no. 8731.0).

  • State Accounts—annual (cat. no. 5220.0)

  • Crime and Safety, Australia—irregular (cat. no. 4509.0)

  • Criminal Courts, Australia—annual (cat. no. 4513.0)

    In addition to the above arrangements, and having regard to the complexity of analyses required, a number of Australian Government Treasury officials have lock-up access to Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) mid afternoon on the day before its release.

    In addition and in exceptional circumstances only, I may approve the conduct of additional lock-ups for other key statistical releases. Any such approval will be publicly notified in advance.

  • The ABS also seeks to ensure the processes used to compile statistics are open and transparent, and users of statistics have access to all the information they need to be able to interpret the statistics accurately. As such, information about the methods used in producing statistics is provided through statistical publications, such as those referred to as manuals of concepts, sources and methods, and information papers. Ongoing ABS research is often published in professional papers (a full list of those presented in 2007–08 is included in Online appendix 2). ABS data is increasingly being presented with attendant metadata that helps customers interpret and assess the ‘fitness for use’ of the data.

    The following sections cover some of the methods for accessing ABS statistics, new releases in 2007–08, and uses of ABS statistics.

    ACCESSING ABS STATISTICS

    ABS WEBSITE

    The ABS website remains the primary access point for the majority of users of ABS information, with website users accessing ABS web pages 140 million times in 2007–08. This is an increase of 37.7% from 2006–07 and 79.4% from 2005–06.

    Along with this increase in website use, there has also been a decline in demand for printed products. Consequently, from March 2008, hardcopy publications were no longer printed and available for sale unless they meet strict criteria.

    During 2007–08 a number of improvements were made to the ABS website. These included:



    Adding Quality Declarations

    Quality Declarations are short, sharp pieces of information, which quickly communicate key statistical quality messages to users, as well as providing links to more detailed information about a statistical output.

    They are designed specifically for the website and users accessing ABS information electronically.

    The information in a Quality Declaration aims to help users make informed decisions about the fitness for use of the statistics. They complement, but do not replace, the more comprehensive and complete statements of quality that currently exist, such as explanatory notes, and concepts, sources and methods documents.


    Improving email notification service

    The improved email notification service enables customers to register and receive email alerts on particular topics.

    This service is free, and allows customers to keep-up-to date with the latest ABS information, without having to regularly check the ABS website.

    New enhancements now allow customers to subscribe to a notification for a single product or a product set. The product sets have been created to enable customers to quickly subscribe to notifications for a predefined set of products, which are based on a topic or interest group.


    Enhancing the website

    During 2007–08, the ABS continued to enhance the look, feel and usability of the ABS website, inline with a program of continual upgrades. For example, a Print All facility was added, which enables users to print all the pages of electronic publications in one step. This functionality has been provided due to the increasing number of ABS publications produced solely on the website.

    OVER 100 YEARS OF DATA NOW ONLINE

    A century of Year Book Australia, from the earliest edition published in 1908 to the latest 2008 edition, are now available online. This makes all issues, representing 100 years of publishing in the Bureau, available for the benefit of researchers, the community and posterity.

    Year Book Australia provides a comprehensive and detailed statistical review of various aspects of the economy and social conditions in Australia. In addition to the broad range of statistics, with contributions from many government and private organisations outside the ABS, most issues also include a number of special articles written on topics relevant to the time.

    The first volume of the Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1901–1907 also includes statistics about Australia prior to 1900. The historical year books have been scanned from the paper version and use character recognition software, which provides a full-text searching capability once downloaded.

    image_0023

    PROMOTION OF RELEASES

    The ABS seeks to encourage informed and increased use of statistics by promoting key releases such as Measures of Australia’s Progress and Australian Social Trends as well as generally promoting the wider range of ABS products and services.

    Year Book Australia

    The Year Book Australia 2008 (cat. no. 1301.0) was launched in ABS House by the Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC (Retd).

    Picture of Governor-General

    The Governor-General, His Excellency Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC (Retd), launched the Year Book Australia 2008 on 7 February 2008 at ABS House. Ninety editions have been published in the past 100 years and are now available online at the ABS website.

    The Year Book Australia 2008 commemorated both the centenary of the world-wide Scouting movement and the International Year of Planet Earth. To honour the international theme, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General assembly during 2008, the ABS also invited Geoscience Australia, the Australian Government agency with responsibility for coordinating Australia’s involvement in the International Year, together with several other Australian Government departments to contribute articles that relate to the years’ goals or research themes. The launch of the Year Book Australia 2008 also provided the opportunity to announce the ABS has now digitised all 90 editions of the Year Book produced over the last 100 years and made them available on its website.

    Scouts Australia assist to launch Year Book Australia

    Members of Scouts Australia assisting the Governor-General to launch the Year Book Australia 2008.

    Year Book Australia is the principal reference work produced by the ABS. It provides a comprehensive statistical picture of the economy and social conditions in Australia. In addition, it contains descriptive matter dealing with Australia’s geography and climate, population, the environment, government, international relations, defence, education, health, income and welfare, housing, and crime and justice.

    2006 Census Social Atlas series

    In March 2008, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, and the Australian Statistician, Brian Pink, launched the 2006 Census Social Atlas series at Parliament House in Canberra.

    In front of a packed audience of ABS stakeholders and key media representatives, the Assistant Treasurer spoke about the Social Atlas bringing the Census to life and presenting a bird’s eye view of our cities and, importantly for the first time, our regions. He said that the Social Atlas series presented Census data in a way that makes it more accessible and understandable for users.

    Following the release, there was extensive media coverage, with articles, interviews and news segments highlighting the stories from the Social Atlas series. The success of the launch, along with the associated media coverage, has assisted the ABS to generate good sales of the hard copy publications and to see a high number of downloads from the website—registering 10,319 downloads since its release in April 2008. Comparatively, the 2001 Social Atlases registered 1,122 downloads from the time of their release (October 2002) until the end of the 2002–02 Financial Year.

    media coverage

    The stories from the Social Atlas series received extensive media coverage.

    The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008

    The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP, launched the joint ABS and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publication, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008 (cat. no. 4704.0), in April 2008 at the 2nd Conference of the Coalition for Research to Improve Aboriginal Health in Sydney.

    Image of the Hon Jenny Macklin MP

    The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, launched the joint ABS and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publication, The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008.

    Seminars and Training

    The ABS also provides seminars and training courses for government and others, to promote available statistics and assist users in accessing the data. During 2007–08, sessions focused on the broad capability of the ABS, including:

  • statistics freely available on the ABS website

  • newly released 2006 Census of Population and Housing data

  • responsible use of ABS microdata, and

  • availability of customised data through information consultancies.



    STATISTICS FOR SCHOOLS

    The ABS has developed a number of initiatives aimed at improving the statistical literacy of teachers and students, and increasing the use of ABS data in schools. The second version of CensusAtSchool, which is an Internet based education project in which students respond to questions of interest about themselves by completing an online voluntary questionnaire, is now underway. It is now a truly international project containing a set of questions common across all countries undertaking CensusAtSchool. This will enable Australian students to compare themselves directly with students from a number of other countries. CensusAtSchool 2008 participants will also be able to compare themselves to participants in 2006, as a time series starts to develop in this popular project.

    The ABS attended a large number of education conferences and workshops over the past 12 months, with the aim of raising awareness of statistics as a life skill. This, together with the re-building of a network of key senior contacts in the education sector, is aimed at trying to show the importance of statistics in a number of subject areas across state and territory curricula.

    During 2007–08, the ABS also ran a successful pilot of a theatre style program to educate and engage with year five and six students visiting Canberra. The program is designed to introduce children to statistics and how statistics can influence decision-making and planning. The Student Visit Program is planned for implementation in the new financial year.

    STATISTICAL LITERACY

    The ABS seeks to increase statistical literacy in the government and community through a nationally coordinated program. This program uses innovative approaches to improve the statistical capabilities of targeted customer segments. For example,

  • the Information Skills Program continues to deliver sessions designed to raise awareness and understanding of ABS statistics among key customer groups, including:

  • speaking at a number of high-profile national conferences, such as the Australian Library and Information Association 2008, Public Libraries Conference and Teacher Librarians Conference, and

  • coordinating training sessions across multiple states for organisations such as the Australian Taxation Office and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

  • ABS publications still available in hard-copy are provided to over 500 public libraries across Australia, to support access to statistical information for those without Internet access, and

  • a brochure for small businesses has been produced, containing case studies demonstrating the application of ABS data to a number of real-world scenarios.


    INFORMATION CONSULTANCY SERVICE

    The ABS provides a cost-recovered information consultancy service, which provides customised data to users whose needs are not met by data available free-of-charge on the ABS website.

    Information consultancy customers come from all levels of government, large and small businesses, not for profit organisations, as well as the research sector. These customers use tailored ABS data for decision making, research, policy development, planning and marketing. The range of data available to customers of the information consultancy service includes the Census of Population and Housing, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, the Survey of Education and Work, International Trade, Vitals, Demographic data and more.

    Subscriptions to some data can be provided on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, according to the customer’s need.

    ACCESS TO CONFIDENTIALISED UNIT RECORD FILES: SPECIALIST DATA FOR SPECIALIST RESEARCHERS

    Microdata, which is the most detailed statistical information available from the ABS, can be accessed in the form of Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs). These are a valuable source of data for specialist researchers in government agencies, universities and other organisations.

    CURFs include the most detailed statistical information available from the ABS. In these files, records of individual responses to ABS surveys from persons, households or organisations have been manipulated to protect respondent confidentiality. In all cases, directly identifying information such as names, addresses and so forth have been removed from the records, and a variety of statistical techniques have been applied to further ensure confidentiality is maintained.

    CURFs are produced at different levels of detail:

  • Basic CURFs are offered on CD-ROM and in the Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL™). These are the most rigorously confidentialised CURFs available, and

  • Expanded CURFs provide more detailed data than Basic CURFs—these are able to be less rigorously confidentialised because they are available only in the more secure environments of the RADL™ and the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL).

    The RADL™ is a system accessed through the Internet, which allows users to submit statistical queries to be run on CURFs. Users do not have access to the data directly, and there are checks and controls in the system to maintain the security of the data.

    CURFs are available for 34 ABS surveys and have been a standard ABS statistical product for two years. During 2007–08, the ABS released 17 new CURFs, including Expanded CURFs. There are currently 91 (latest edition) CURFs available and a total count of 112 CURFs (includes Editions) available on RADL™.

    While the use of CURFs on CD-ROM remains very popular, with around half of all CURF use in this format, researchers are also increasingly using RADL™ to access both Basic and Expanded CURFs. By the end of June 2008, there were 1,196 researchers from 88 organisations registered to use RADL™.

    During 2007–08, the ABS has continued to develop the Remote Access Data Laboratory facilities (RADL™), with a focus on improved useability and functionality, using feedback from customers as an important driver for enhancements. For example, RADL™ now supports the SAS, SPSS and Stata statistical languages.

    The RADL™ is a secure system accessed through the Internet, which allows registered users to submit statistical queries to be run on CURFs. Users do not have direct access to the data, and there are checks and controls in the system to maintain the security of the data. A further means of accessing microdata is the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). This is a microdata processing environment established in a secure room or area on ABS premises. ABSDL provides a more interactive processing environment than RADL™, enabling the analysis of both standard and customised microdata files. To ensure respondents cannot be identified, any output removed by ABSDL customers is vetted by ABS staff. Both the RADL™ and ABSDL services are provided on a fully cost-recovered basis.

    The ABS website lists published results of research for which CURFs have been used. It includes academic papers published in journals and conference proceedings, higher degree theses, monographs and reports.

    INFORMING DECISIONS—ABS SERVICE DELIVERY CHARTER

    Revised and released in January 2008, the ABS Service Delivery Charter outlines the ABS’ commitment to providing a quality customer service, and describes the products and services that users can expect when they approach the ABS for statistical or other information. The charter offers guidance to customers wishing to provide compliments, or register complaints, on any aspect of customer relationships or service. The charter also describes the service standards for which the ABS is accountable. Performance against service standards for 2007–08 can be found in Table 12.1. The Charter, together with other relevant corporate information, is available from the ABS website, using the ‘About Us’ link from the homepage.

    The ABS has charters for respondents in Business Surveys and Household Surveys, also available via the ‘About Us’ link from the homepage of the ABS website. Further Information on the Charters can be found in Chapter 10, Provider/respondent relationships.

    Table 12.1 Performance against service standards for 2007–08: targets and actual performance

    Performance standard
    Target (%)
    Actual performance (%)

    General enquiries
    Answer 85% of calls to our telephone enquiry service within 30 seconds (between the hours of 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)
    85
    86
    Acknowledge the receipt of 99% of email enquiries within one working day
    99
    100
    Respond to 90% of Enquiry Form correspondence within three working days
    90
    n.a.(a)

    Consultancy services (b) (c)
    Provide 90% of quotes for information consultancy services within three working days of receiving the customer’s final specifications
    90
    91.9
    Provide 90% of information consultancy services within five working days, or to a timeframe negotiated between the customer and the consultant
    90
    58.2

    Complaints (b) (c)
    Acknowledgment of a service delivery complaint within one working day of receipt
    100
    0
    Response from the Director, Client Services in the relevant ABS office, within five working days
    100
    75

    Websites
    Commence publishing to website at 11:30am (Canberra Time) Monday to Friday
    100
    95.5
    Ensure the website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, subject to events out of our control
    100
    99.9
    Advertise website unavailability for maintenance purposes one working day prior to the website being unavailable
    100
    100
    Fix 99% of broken web page links within three working days of notification by a customer
    99
    100
    Refer 99% of requests for translation of any web product which is not suitably accessible for visually impaired users to an appropriate translation service within three working days
    99
    100

    Microdata
    Acknowledge the receipt of 99% of microdata enquiries within one working day
    99
    95
    Provide a full response to 85% of microdata enquiries within five working days
    85
    92
    Dispatch 90% of CURF microdata products within 15 working days of receipt of the completed application form
    90
    76
    Provide 90% of new CURF users with access within five working days to a CURF already approved for use in that organisation
    90
    0(d)
    (a) Enquiry Forms were not yet available for use during the period 2007–08.
    (b) Data are for February—June 2008.
    (c) Processes for recording data against these measures are under review.
    (d) While 0% supplied within five days, 100% were supplied within 15 days.

    RELEASES IN 2007–08

    The ABS releases a wide range of information from its collections through publications (in electronic, and in some cases, paper formats), spreadsheets and datacubes. Most users of ABS statistics rely on releases in these forms, and the ABS is always seeking to expand and improve the range available. In particular, in 2007–08 the ABS has continued to expand the range of data available through spreadsheets and datacubes.

    The number of datacubes and spreadsheets increased from 7,546 in 2007–07 to 8,773 (or 16%) in 2007–08. The increase in datacubes and spreadsheets on the ABS website since 2003–04 is shown in Table 12.2.

    Table 12.2: ABS datacubes and spreadsheets releases by year (number)

    Year
    Datacubes
    Time Series Spreadsheets
    Total

    2003–04
    403
    41
    444
    2004–05
    447
    258
    705
    2005–06
    1,492
    3,881
    5,373
    2006–07
    2,280
    5,266
    7,546
    2007–08
    2,567
    6,206
    8,773

    The number of publications released in 2007–08 was 818, which is an increase from 711 (or 14.2%) in 2006–07. This increase in releases is due to the increase in the amount of Census publications that were released on the ABS website during the year. Table 12.3 shows the number of ABS releases by year.

    Table 12.3: ABS publication releases (a) classified by subject matter, year and frequency (number)

    Subject Matter / Year
    Annual
    Quarterly
    Monthly
    Other
    Total
    Economic and finance releases

    2003–04
    9
    40
    61
    11
    12
    2004–05
    11
    33
    47
    5
    96
    2005–06
    12
    33
    73
    13
    131
    2006–07
    14
    32
    60
    12
    118
    2007–08
    8
    32
    60
    16
    116
    Industry releases

    2003–04
    15
    91
    70
    27
    203
    2004–05
    26
    78
    63
    28
    195
    2005–06
    19
    84
    48
    24
    175
    2006–07
    18
    83
    56
    24
    181
    2007–08
    11
    76
    36
    16
    139
    Population and migration releases

    2003–04
    35
    4
    18
    56
    113
    2004–05
    36
    3
    24
    14
    77
    2005–06
    38
    4
    24
    8
    74
    2006–07
    17
    4
    24
    6
    51
    2007–08
    58
    4
    24
    18
    104
    Labour releases

    2003–04
    6
    41
    52
    12
    111
    2004–05
    6
    50
    36
    33
    125
    2005–06
    9
    57
    36
    40
    142
    2006–07
    11
    49
    37
    25
    122
    2007–08
    13
    47
    36
    32
    128
    Social analysis releases

    2003–04
    13
    4
    0
    64
    81
    2004–05
    14
    3
    0
    44
    61
    2005–06
    16
    4
    0
    43
    63
    2006–07
    16
    5
    0
    72
    93
    2007–08
    16
    0
    68
    91
    Other general releases

    2003–04
    34
    19
    36
    9
    98
    2004–05
    30
    16
    118(b)
    15
    179
    2005–06
    39
    34
    116
    7
    196
    2006–07
    26
    33
    51
    36
    146
    2007–08
    58
    56
    95
    31
    240
    Total

    2003–04
    112
    199
    237
    179
    727
    2004–05
    123
    183
    288
    139
    733
    2005–06
    133
    298
    215
    135
    781
    2006–07
    102
    206
    228
    175
    711
    2007–08
    164
    222
    251
    181
    818
    (a) Includes catalogued publications and other products, but excludes reprints and corrigenda.
    (b) Catalogue numbers assigned to the Reserve Bank of Australia spreadsheets.

    2006 CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING—SECOND RELEASE

    A major release during 2007–08 was the second release of data from the 2006 Census of Population and Housing. The first release provided statistics relating to age, gender, country of origin and household finances, etc. The second release data built on this extensive range of data by focusing on statistics relating to Australia’s workforce, level of education, the way we travel to work and internal migration.

    USE OF ABS STATISTICS

    Statistics produced by the ABS are widely used to support decision making and research. Some examples include:

  • formulating and assessing government macro-economic policies

  • assisting with allocation of Australian Government funds to state and territory governments

  • formulating industry development policies

  • supporting policy development, program delivery and evaluation of key government and non-government agencies involved in health, community and family services, and

  • carrying out electoral distribution.

    During 2007–08, ABS statistics were used in the following ways:

    The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs’ (FaHCSIA) ‘Community Profiles’ report enables staff to interrogate multiple data sources, including the ABS’s Census, Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas and Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia data, and reconcile this data with the department’s own internal grant administration data. This allows the department to better understand the impact of its funding programs on communities, as well as pinpoint disconnect between supply and demand for FaHCSIA services, through the use of social indicators.The Australia 2020 Summit, held in April 2008, was designed to help shape a long-term strategy for the nation’s future. The Australia 2020 Summit, held in April 2008, was designed to help shape a long-term strategy for the nation’s future.

    Background papers prepared by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as an information base for each of the 10 theme areas, contained an extensive range of ABS statistics.

  • informing government policies to assist and support individuals, families and businesses, during and after the January 2008 floods in Queensland

  • assisting the Council of Australian Governments monitor targets for closing the gap in life expectancy for Indigenous Australians and halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five years

  • using 2006 Census of Population and Housing data extensively throughout all levels of government for research, policy development and planning purposes

  • providing background information for media stories on topics such as families, religion, birthplace, housing costs and labour force

  • using international trade in goods and services data in negotiating new free trade agreements and monitoring existing agreements, by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and

  • data from a range of sources, including international trade and the Census have been used by small businesses to undertake market research and planning.

    A broad assessment of the extent of the use of ABS statistics can be seen in the accesses to these statistics through ABS dissemination services (shown in Table 12.4).

    NATIONAL INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICE

    The National Information and Referral Service is the main entry point to the ABS for basic information and statistical enquiries from external customers. As shown in Table 12.4, the number of emails received by NIRS is approximately 10% higher than what was received in 2006–07, while the number of calls answered has slightly decreased. As reported last year, the unusually higher number of calls in 2006–07 was partially due to increased enquiries following the 2006 Census enumeration and output activities. The number of calls for this in 2007–08 reflects the volume of activities during a period where more free statistics became available on our website. Table 12.4 below provides additional information on the ways people access ABS dissemination services.

    Table 12.4: Number of accesses, by type of access, 2003–04 to 2007–08

    Type of Access
    2003–04
    2004–05
    2005–06
    2006–07
    2007–08
    Website

    Pages viewed(a)
    48,383,816
    60,573,254
    78,054,933
    101, 693,436
    140, 058, 970
    Pages published
    13,861
    16,668
    23,015
    148,144
    193,515
    Products downloaded
    948,956
    962,872
    1,868,280
    4,501,530
    7, 029, 854
    National Information and Referral Service

    Emails
    21,136
    12,862
    12,588
    14,278
    15,772
    Calls completed
    85,556
    60,820
    56,257
    58,040
    56,739
    Information Consultancy Service

    Consultancies dispatched
    5,487
    4,937
    3,464
    3,380
    4,677
    Library Extension Program

    Libraries
    519
    518
    518
    515
    517
    Secondary providers

    Number
    140
    132
    172
    126
    245(b)
    Remote Access Data Laboratory(c)

    Organisations active on RADL™(d)
    25
    28
    32
    41
    60
    Individuals active on RADL™(e)
    64
    84
    98
    131
    173
    Statistical programs executed (f)
    6,274
    7,535
    8,998
    15,955
    19,305
    (a) Pages viewed accounts only for views of static web pages. Much of the content of the ABS website is generated dynamically and is difficult to report on using existing tools.
    (b) Includes 32 secondary distributors who incur a licence fee for on-selling data purchased data.
    (c) Re-calculation of the RADL usage figures has shown that slightly fewer organisations and individuals actively used RADL over the period 2003–04 to 2005–06 than was shown in previous issues of this Report. The number of statistical programs executed remains unchanged over the same period.
    (d) Organisations active on RADL refers to organisations with users who executed statistical programs in RADL during the period shown.
    (e) Individuals active on RADL refers to registered RADL users who executed statistical programs in RADL during the period shown.
    (f) Statistical programs executed refers to jobs run in RADL during the period shown.

    MEDIA REPORTING

    The ABS received widespread media coverage throughout the year. There were approximately 6,700 mentions in major metropolitan print media during 2007–08. While broadcast mentions are not easy to measure, media monitoring records demonstrate the ABS received no less than 2,800 major metropolitan radio and televisions mentions in 2007–08.

    As shown in table 12.5, in 2007–08, the ABS issued 132 media releases throughout the year, promoting ABS products, as well as flagship releases, such as Australian Social Trends, Year Book Australia and Measures of Australia’s Progress.

    Table 12.5: Number of ABS media releases issued, 2001–02 to 2007–08

    Year
    Media releases issued(a)

    2001–02
    156
    2002–03
    168
    2003–04
    193
    2004–05
    133
    2005–06
    169
    2006–07
    160
    2007–08
    132
    (a) Does not include media releases promoting the Census of Population and Housing



    Previous PageNext Page