Finalising the 2001 Census Product Suite
The ABS recently completed the final phase of a large user consultation process in preparation for the next census in August 2001. Since early 1999, feedback on the 1996 Census Output Program has been sought from data users, and in addition their views on proposed strategies and directions for the 2001 Census Output Program have also been canvassed.
The most recent phase involved the release of an Information Paper: 2001 Census of Population and Housing: Proposed Products and Services (ABS Cat. No. 2011.0). It documented the full range of proposed 2001 Census products and services, and included indicative release dates for the various output. It was accompanied by a supplement and questionnaire.
The supplement provided details on the proposed format and table content of 2001 Census publications, the Community Profile Series and Internet Services. The information paper, supplement and questionnaire were distributed to all Census Update readers in July 2000. They were also available electronically via the ABS web site. In addition, focus groups involving some major users of census data were convened around Australia during August 2000. The information gathered from these consultations has been valuable and informative. A broad overview of the preliminary results of the most recent phase of the consultative process follows.
- Clients endorsed the proposed structure and content of the web site, and indicated that the free census products planned for the web site would be well utilised.
- The Census Snapshot narrative service was viewed as useful by clients, with the majority of respondents indicating they would expect to access summary level data through this web based service.
- While a number of clients indicated that they would not be willing or able to purchase data via the Internet, there was still adequate support for this method of purchase to warrant further investigation of the facility.
- There is continued client support for CDATA and Quickbuild. Many CDATA users commented on the output views and report types, thus providing a useful insight into the functionality of this product. Preliminary results indicate CDATA users are very keen to keep "Data View" as part of the package and therefore it will be retained for 2001.
- The community profile series was well received by clients and Excel appears to be the preferred output option. Comments for improvements and inclusion of other data items are currently being considered.
The detailed findings of this round of consultation are expected to be on the ABS web site in February 2001. Based on the results of the survey and user consultations, the ABS is now finalising the design, content and functionality of the full range of 2001 Census products and services.
Detailed information about the proposed 2001 Census product suite and indicative prices will be made available as plans are finalised.
- There has been mixed support for the reintroduction of proportion cells.