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USING THE TABLEBUILDER
Information on the structure for these datasets is provided in the File Structure section.
Counting units and weights
Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each record. The weight is the value that indicates how many population units are represented by each sample unit.
Both person and household estimates can be obtained from the TableBuilder products. Each type of estimate uses a different weight (or 'Summation Option') and it is essential that the correct one is selected when specifying tables. Weights are selected from the Summation Options, as shown below:
Generally, as the Person level relates to people, a person weight is attached in the Summation Options. Similarly, as the Household level relates to households, a household weight is attached.
However, the default weight when producing any table using the TableBuilder products is the person weight (in bold in the image above) which is automatically applied to any table being generated. If generating a table from the Household level, the weight will usually need to be changed. A weight shown in bold, such as in the image above, indicates the weight being used in the table. Placing a tick in a 'Sum' tick box and then adding it to a row or column in the table will select a different weight.
The following table summarises the weights recommended for use with each of the levels:
LEVEL, SUMMATION OPTION WEIGHTS AND UNITS OF MEASURE
LEVEL, SUMMATION OPTION WEIGHTS AND UNITS OF MEASURE
Continuous data items
TableBuilder includes a number of continuous variables which can have a response value at any point along a continuum. Some continuous data items are allocated special codes for certain responses (e.g. 998 = 'Not applicable'). When creating ranges in TableBuilder for such continuous items, special codes will automatically be excluded. Therefore the total will show only 'valid responses' rather than all responses (including special codes).
The following shows the tabulation of the data item 'Age of child's main carer'. The continuous values of the data item are contained in the 'A valid response was recorded' row. To show the actual continuous values in a table, a range must be created for the data item in Summation options.
Below is the same table with a range applied for the continuous values. Note that the persons with a 'Not applicable' and 'Unknown' responses no longer contribute to the total.
Continuous data items and special codes for continuous data items are identified in the Data Item List.
Adjustment of cell values
To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals. The introduction of perturbation in publications ensures that these statistics are consistent with statistics released via services such as TableBuilder.
Zero value cells
Tables generated from sample surveys will sometimes contain cells with zero values because no respondents that satisfy the parameters of the cell were in the survey. This is despite there being people in the population with those characteristics. That is, the cell may have had a value above zero if all persons in scope of the survey had been enumerated. This is an example of sampling variability which occurs with all sample surveys. Relative Standard Errors cannot be generated for zero cells. Whilst the tables may include cells with zero values, the ABS recommends that TableBuilder clients do not use these data.
Multi-response data items
Some of the survey's data items allow respondents to provide more than one response. This is referred to as a 'multi-response data item'. For the example data item below respondents can report 'all' types of support provided to anyone living outside household in last 4 weeks.
When a multi-response data item is tabulated, a person is counted against each response they have provided (e.g. a person who provided 'Domestic work, home maintenance or gardening' and provided 'Any unpaid child care' will be counted one time in each of these two categories).
As a result, each person in the appropriate population is counted at least once, and some persons are counted multiple times. Therefore, the total for a multi-response data item will be less than or equal to the sum of its components.
Multi-response data items are clearly labelled in the Data Item List for this product.
Comparisons between the 2014–15 NATSISS and 2014 GSSNI files
This product includes a TableBuilder file (2014 GSSNI) containing non-Indigenous data from the 2014 GSS. Data items have only been included on the 2014 GSSNI TableBuilder file where reasonable comparisons between the NATSISS and GSS are possible. The TableBuilder Data Item List is structured to serve as a guide for reasonable comparisons. Age standardisation will not be available for this TableBuilder and in some cases, age group comparisons will be the most appropriate method of comparing the non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
Differences between NATSISS and GSS, such as question wording, sample design, coverage, survey methodology, definitions, and classifications, should all be taken into account when making comparisons between the 2014–15 NATSISS and 2014 GSSNI files. Users should note that the 2014–15 NATSISS and the 2014 GSSNI cannot be summed to produce estimates for the total Australian population. For more information see Appendix 2: Data comparability from other sources from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Australia, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4714.0).
Using the TableBuilder Data Item List
The TableBuilder Data Item List provides:
While the TableBuilder Data Item List primarily serves to provide the NATSISS TableBuilder data items for users, GSSNI data items provided have been listed in a way for users to easily identify where data items may be used for comparison. Each worksheet of the Data Item List is divided into 2014–15 NATSISS and 2014 GSSNI; where some comparison is possible between data items, GSSNI data items have been listed adjacent to NATSISS data items.
The Index worksheet summarises all the available and comparable data items as well as the relevant weights used in the 2014–15 NATSISS and 2014 GSSNI TableBuilders.
Each sheet of the Data Item List indicates a level of data (e.g. Barriers level, Household level) or a grouping of like data about a selected person (e.g. Demographics, Education, Work, Health, Health Risk Factors, Mobility and Transport, Information Technology).
A glossary of definitions for the data items can be found in the Explanatory Notes and the Household Questionnaire in the Downloads page of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4714.0) and the General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 4159.0).
For confidentiality and/or usability reasons, some data item values have been collapsed and/or restricted for use in the TableBuilders.
Understanding the extent to which data from the 2014–15 NATSISS and the 2014 GSSNI can be compared is essential to interpreting apparent differences in the data. There are differences in the sample design and coverage, survey methodology, content, definitions, and classifications, all of which may impact on comparability. For more information see Appendix 2: Data comparability from other sources from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, Australia, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4714.0).
The purpose of the two TableBuilders is to allow comparability of data between the non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. The Data Item Lists have been combined to serve as a guide only. Care should always be taken when making comparisons between 2014–15 NATSISS and 2014 GSSNI data items, and the following need to be considered:
Further information on using the TableBuilder Data Item List is provided on the Notes worksheet within the Data Item List provided on the Downloads page.
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