STATISTICAL DATA INTEGRATION LEADERSHIP
The Statistical Data Integration Leadership program provides support to the Cross Portfolio Data Integration Oversight Board. This Board provides strong and consistent governance, methods, policies and protocols around data integration involving Commonwealth data for statistical and research purposes.
Data integration is the joining of data from different sources to develop new datasets. Data integration is a major priority for the Commonwealth Government and for the wider National Statistical System as demand increases for analyses of integrated population, social, economic and environmental datasets for statistical and research purposes. There is a strong need for consistent governance, methods, policies and protocols around data integration to:
- maximise benefits from the use of data, in a controlled and secure manner
- minimise risks associated with data integration activities on datasets of national significance such as the Census of Population and Housing
- maintain the trust of the broader community in the collection and use by the Australian Government of personal and business data.
The principal stakeholders involved are data custodians, integrating authorities and users, which include Australian, state, territory and local government organisations, researchers and the community. The key outcome is to provide a safe and effective environment for data integration for statistical and research purposes within Australia.
The initiative has the following outputs:
- secretariat services to the Cross Portfolio Data Integration Oversight Board, which is chaired by the Australian Statistician, and includes Portfolio Secretaries from Health and Ageing, Human Services, and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
- assessments of applications for accredited Integrating Authority status
- policies and strategies for data integration activities involving Commonwealth data for statistical and research purposes
- best practice materials and tools for data integration activities involving Commonwealth data for statistical and research purposes
- maintenance of the public register of data integration projects and a comments and complaints mechanism
- communications about data integration, including: seminars and presentations; participation in relevant conferences (particularly those that relate to information sharing across governments, the research sector and the community); and participation in meetings (particularly those across portfolios within governments).
The main medium-term developments will be to:
- work with agencies to implement a safe and effective environment for data integration involving Commonwealth data, including developing best practice guidelines - timing dependent on consultation with stakeholders
- maintain a register of data integration projects conducted for statistical and research purposes involving Commonwealth data - the register was launched in December 2012, and the full set of data integration project details will be available by October 2013
- engage with the states and territories to encourage a safe and effective environment for data integration for statistical and research purposes across all jurisdictions - ongoing
- stay abreast of international best practice for statistical integration activities in order to influence Australian deliberations - ongoing
- engage with the custodians of key datasets to identify opportunities for their use in statistical data integration projects - ongoing
- support confidentialising data and providing safe access to microdata to support statistical and research outputs - ongoing
- improve the understanding of issues around different levels of data linking accuracy - ongoing.
Christine Williams, Assistant Statistician, Education and Data Integration Branch
More information can be found at www.nss.gov.au/dataintegration