1100.2 - Statistics Victoria, Sep 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/10/2009   
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Community Indicators Summit, 22-23 July 2009, Brisbane

The summit's theme was 'Measuring the Progress of Australian Communities'. Presentations delivered at the summit are available. Powerpoint presentations (in pdf or ppt format) allow you to scroll quickly through to find key information, while the videos let you see and hear the author. Presenters came from a wide range of areas, including: Commonwealth and state government, local government, private enterprise, universities, overseas entities, non-government organisations, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

A feature of the Summit was Information Platform demonstrations. Community Indicators Victoria were one of ten groups who demonstrated how on-line platforms can be used to assist in community planning and policy making.

Delegates to the Summit participated in the development of a Declaration. Participants agreed to the need for national coordination and leadership to ensure ongoing support for improving community measures of progress and wellbeing. The Declaration is to be presented and discussed as part of a broad global discussion at the 3rd OECD World Forum on "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy" in Busan, Korea on 27-30 October, 2009.

TableBuilder online software

TableBuilder (cat. no. 2065.0) is an online tool which allows you to create your own custom tables of Census data including person, family and dwelling characteristics in the one table. You decide to count either persons, families or dwellings; how to structure the table and which variables to include. Almost all variables from the 2006 Census Dictionary are available.

TableBuilder's functionality makes creating tables with up to 5 million cells of Census data a breeze. Small tables are available immediately, while larger tables over 5,000 cells are submitted for processing, allowing you to create more tables while your large table is being prepared. Unlike CDATA Online, TableBuilder is not topic based so you will be able to tabulate any combination of variables. The variables available to you will be restricted by the summation option you are using in the table.

TableBuilder is a subscription service only and costs $1,655 (incl. GST) for an individual user for a single Census reference cycle. Each registration remains valid for the life of the product and includes access to training and ongoing help-line support. TableBuilder requires users to complete an application and undertaking form to gain product access. TableBuilder is supported by a suite of on-line training tutorials, and a comprehensive user manual and data dictionary.

If you would like a demonstration before purchasing a TableBuilder subscription, you can attend a free TableBuilder Information Session at the ABS Office, 485 La Trobe St, Melbourne on 22nd October or 26th November 2009, all sessions 2.00pm - 3.00pm. To book, please email <vic.client.services@abs.gov.au> (attn Heather Burns) with your selected date.

Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Conference

The Australian Institute of Family Studies are hosting their second Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) research conference in Melbourne on 3-4 December 2009. By tracking children over time, Growing Up in Australia enables researchers to determine critical periods for the provision of services and welfare support, and identify the long-term consequences of policy innovations.

The 2nd LSAC Research Conference is a unique opportunity to take part in discussion of research based on LSAC data. Whether you use LSAC data or are interested in longitudinal studies more generally, this conference is the opportunity to share knowledge with your peers and improve the research potential of this dataset. Use of LSAC data in research and policy formation, and the dataset's research potential will be the main focus over the two days.

Discontinuation of Information Skills and Library Extension Programs

The Information Skills Program (ISP) and Library Extension Program (LEP) are discontinued due to recent changes in both the delivery of training and focus for Information Services.

Information Skills Program: After 31 August 2009 the national program of free training and information sessions delivered via the ISP ceased to operate. The ISP has provided a valuable service to our external clients, delivering targeted information seminars to assist and encourage informed and effective use of ABS statistics. The ISP consultants involved in delivering the program have been instrumental in building relationships with external clients; promoting awareness of ABS information and data; feeding back information about client's data and statistical literacy needs; as well as cross promoting the National Statistical Service, information consultancies, statistical training and confidential unit record files.

This program will be replaced with a new suite of training courses which will be offered on a cost recovery basis through the Statistical Literacy Unit. The provision of free online learning tutorials and other resources will also be made available via the ABS website.

Library Extension Program (LEP): Since 1991, ABS's LEP has provided ABS print publications on a complimentary basis to a network of public, state, university and TAFE libraries across Australia, as well as providing training and other educational and promotional services.

The introduction of free statistics on the web, and evolution of the ISP to a cost-recovery model has meant that libraries no longer have a primary role in enabling free public access to core ABS statistics, and as a consequence the LEP will also discontinue.

The Statistical Literacy Unit will continue to support development of statistical literacy for this group as it does with other client groups.

A big thank you: We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all those involved in the ISP and LEP throughout the years. Your contribution has resulted in an increased understanding of ABS statistics for our clients - an important statistical literacy outcome, and a great contribution towards the advancement of ABS.

Labour Statistics News

There have been a number of important additions to the range of information released in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), which have been enthusiastically received by labour market analysts. These include:
    • the release of a new hours worked series: aggregate monthly hours worked estimates,
    • quarterly labour force underutilisation rates, and
    • gross flows (labour market transition) estimates.

The ABS Labour Statistics Program received a boost following announcement of an increase in funding for ABS in the Federal Budget. As a result of increased funding, the full sample for the Labour Force Survey (LFS) has been restored, and the Job Vacancy Survey (JVS) will be reinstated. Reversal of the 24% reduction in LFS sample size, to occur progressively over September to December 2009, is expected to decrease standard errors by approximately 15%. The JVS will be re-instated from November 2009 quarter onwards, with November 2009 results to be released 4 February 2010. Further details in 6269.0 Information Paper: Labour Force Survey Sample Design, Nov 2007 (Third edition).

Local Government and ABS newsletter

The latest issue of the biannual 'Local Government and ABS' (cat. no. 1376.0) contains feature articles on the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), and 2011 Census of Population and Housing local and regional engagement strategy. It also includes an update on what's happening in local government finance.

Indigenous Statistics for Schools

On 9 July, ABS's Education Services released Indigenous Statistics for Schools (ISS). These web pages include statistics on the Indigenous population, education, health, housing, work and more. Links to the original data sources are also provided for those who would like to delve deeper. Data constraints are explained, to assist students and teachers use the data appropriately. The pages are aimed at students from upper primary to senior secondary, as well as teachers who will now be able to find current statistics about Indigenous Australians much more easily.

Healthy habits keep your data fit

Data fitness helps you understand how exercising good data practices can keep your data healthy, so that maximum value can be made of your information sources. Data is healthy when it is: fit for purpose, measurable, and comparable. More clues and resources are available from the 'Healthy habits keep your data fit' webpage.