1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Dec 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2006   
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National Data Network Update

Demonstration National Data Network (NDN) Released

The NDN has been designed as a national network for exposing, sharing and integrating data for policy and research and is now available for testing.

Data custodians can use the network to allow controlled and secure access to their data holdings by the research community. Datasets from the ABS including census data and motor vehicle statistics are available. In addition, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has now become the primary contributor of statistical information to the NDN, providing 43 of the 58 data sets now available on the Internet library. AIHW information currently available includes medical labour force, cancer, homelessness and supported accommodation, mortality, disability, health and welfare expenditure, drug use and treatment services, mental health information, and many other topics.

Upcoming releases to the demonstration network will gradually bring more data onto the network and introduce more functionality and supporting access to statistical services such as an Address Coder and metadata management system.

Institute for Child Health Research Node

The WA ABS office is working in collaboration with the Institute for Child Health Research (ICHR) to create an NDN node which will bring additional datasets to the network. The primary dataset to be accessed via the ICHR node will be the WA Aboriginal Child Health Survey. It is expected that other related datasets will be made available over time. Professor Fiona Stanley is a strong supporter of this NDN initiative and is keen to expose Indigenous data to the network to complement health data from the AIHW which are now accessible. A valuable aspect of this NDN project is that it allows partners to share best practice principles, particularly in such critical areas as privacy protocols, and information standards.

Inventory of State Government Data Holdings

Data custodians from agencies involved in the initial trial are aware that metadata collected in relation to selected administrative datasets are now available on the ABS@ Consultancy Container with access restricted to state government employees only.

Entries in the inventory are shown by agency and dataset name. Details regarding the datasets are included in an excel spreadsheet and links are available to statistical outputs shown on agency web sites. Contact details are also provided. Over time, agencies are required to inform the ABS of changes to their data holdings to ensure the inventory remains relevant and up to date. Work is continuing to identify additional datasets held by government agencies in WA and to develop topics of interest, guided by the direction of the Statistical Policy Committee. The strategy to further develop the inventory includes:

    • Working with agencies participating in the initial trial to identify additional datasets;
    • Coordinate work with the WA Regional Statistics Unit to incorporate non-ABS metadata associated with the National Regional Profile in the inventory of data holdings;
    • Utilise the services of outposted officers to obtain metadata from agencies they are involved with; and
    • Work with state government agencies to profile key NSS initiatives (e.g. Indicator Frameworks).