1308.7 - Inform NT, Jun 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2010   
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On this page:
Guide for Using Statistics for Evidence Based Policy
Data Quality Online Tool for COAG Performance Indicators
Geography Web Portal
New ABS Resources for Teachers – Online Video Tutorials
Improved National Regional Profile
NatStats 2010 Conference – Registrations Now Open


Do you develop or evaluate policies? If so, you may find the ABS' new Guide for Using Statistics for Evidence Based Policy a helpful resource. As part of the Understanding Statistics suite of webpages, the guide provides useful information about how statistics can be used to make informed policy decisions, and includes information on:

  • what constitutes evidence based decision making
  • how good statistics can enhance the decision making process
  • using statistics for making evidence based decisions
  • understanding statistical concepts and terminology
  • analysing, interpreting and evaluating statistical information
  • communicating statistical findings
  • evaluating outcomes of policy decisions.


Data Quality Online is a new web tool that provides tailored guidance on preparing data quality statements for Council of Australian Governments (COAG) performance indicators within the National Reporting Framework. The tool guides users through the ABS' Data Quality Framework using a range of questions to assess the quality of their information. The answers are then used to automatically generate a draft data quality statement, which can then be saved as a PDF or .xml file and further refined outside the system. Data quality statements enable people who use statistical data to assess the data's fitness for purpose and better communicate the key characteristics of the data which impact on quality to their target audience.

The Data Quality Online tool is expected to be expanded to include guidance on preparing data quality statements for other data sources by mid 2010.


A new geography web portal has been released on the ABS website. It provides easy access to information on geography publications, classifications and digital boundaries, as well as answers to frequently asked geography questions. It also includes sections on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) and its replacement, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), which will become effective from July 2011.


The ABS has created a range of online video tutorials designed to help teachers find data on the ABS website and introduce key ABS products that may be of interest to themselves and their students. There are tutorials on:
  • census related information including community profiles, MapStats and QuickStats
  • commerce and economic related information including Key National Indicators, National Accounts and the Consumer Price Index
  • products of likely interest to teachers including Australian Social Trends, Measure of Australia's Progress and Year Book Australia.


Looking for data for your region? The latest National Regional Profile (NRP) has been released on the ABS website. It contains ABS and non-ABS data for over 2,000 regions across Australia, with up to five years of data available. The data is presented on common boundaries, making it easy to compare over time.

Available regions range from the smaller geographic areas such as Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) and Local Government Areas (LGAs), up to state/territory and Australia. Some of the data in the NRP is not released at such small levels anywhere else on the ABS website.

The latest release of the NRP includes a very new look to the entry page, which uses an interactive map and list to find your region of interest. There is also a new set of short videos to help you use the NRP.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics is pleased to announce that registrations are now open for the NatStats 2010 Conference.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics, through its initiative, the National Statistical Service, aims to improve the use and understanding of statistics for Australians.

NatStats 2010 will be held from 15–17 September 2010 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour. The conference aims to build on the enthusiasm generated by the inaugural NatStats conference held in 2008.

The overall theme for the conference is "Measuring what counts: economic development, wellbeing and progress in 21st century Australia", which will explore drivers of economic and related social change that are shaping Australia's progress. Conference speakers will highlight the importance of statistics in understanding and responding to these challenges.

As a participant in the NatStats 2010 Conference, you will have the opportunity to contribute your ideas for improving the Australian statistical system for the future.

Dr Ken Henry AC, Secretary to the Commonwealth Treasury, will deliver the opening plenary address at the Conference and the Hon Dr Geoff Gallop AC, Director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney, will deliver a presentation focused around improving the wellbeing of Australians.

Prof Paul Cheung, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division, will also be speaking as part of a detailed panel discussion titled, "Measuring progress: from theory to practice", alongside Dr David Gruen, Director of the Macro-Economic Group at the Treasury.

Other NatStats 2010 speakers include Ms Jane Halton PSM, Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing who will speak on the role of statistics in health; and Mr Paul McClintock AO, Chairman of the COAG Reform Council, who will be speaking about the measurement of disadvantage, inequality, and social inclusion. In addition, Ms Martine Durand, Chief Statistician and Director of the OECD Statistics Directorate, and Mr Phil Lowe, Assistant Governor (Economic) of the Reserve Bank of Australia, will together examine some of the changes we can expect to witness in the global economy and the implication for Australia.

For a full list of confirmed speakers, program and registration information, please visit the NatStats Conference website or email natstats@nss.gov.au.