CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT
The ABS operates in a rapidly evolving information environment. We strive to understand and respond to current and emerging challenges and opportunities – shaping our transformation agenda to meet the complex information needs of Australia's dynamic economy and changing society; responding to new opportunities to enhance statistical solutions; and achieving organisational efficiencies.
A DYNAMIC INFORMATION ENVIRONMENT
To remain relevant, our statistics must keep pace with Australia's changing economic and social environment. The economy is increasingly influenced by the growing services sector, and economies are more internationally connected through trade in goods and services as well as financial flows. Australian society is becoming more complex, with an increasingly mobile population, and changing family and household structures. This dynamic environment provides measurement challenges and requires the ABS to review and adapt measurement approaches. Updating underlying conceptual frameworks and standards, ensuring consistency with international measurement standards, while maintaining time-series and data coherence, are key challenges.
Information collected by governments and businesses in the course of their operations is increasingly seen as a strategic resource in both public and private sectors. Sophisticated technologies and advances in analytical capacity are driving information opportunities, both in terms of administrative, transactional and other big data sources; as well as expanded ways to use data to provide new insights. The ABS is working collaboratively with other data custodians to unlock the potential of these expanding data sources effectively, while maintaining the appropriate protection for personal information. Maximising the value of public and corporate data through improving access and integration in a safe environment will be critical to unleashing the power of statistics.
GROWING EXPECTATIONS OF CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS
The information needed to support key decision making and research that is critical to the nation is becoming increasingly complex. Expectations are growing and demands are being placed on us for more timely statistics, at greater levels of detail; enhanced geospatial capability; improved access to microdata; and more sophisticated analysis and interpretation. The ABS will work to anticipate future information needs, and be ready to respond with value-added statistical solutions, without increasing the burden we currently place on households and businesses.
Our interconnected information environment, with many important contributors, demands stronger collaboration and partnerships if we are to better realise the potential value of expanding information opportunities into the future.
NEED FOR IMPROVED EFFICIENCY
The ABS will look for ways of reducing inefficiencies in the collection, production and dissemination of our statistics, as well as in our corporate infrastructure. The cost of traditional survey collection methods has been increasing over time and the ABS will seek ways to deliver statistical solutions which are less intrusive and less costly on households and businesses. Tapping into the potential of administrative and transactional data held by governments and businesses, as well as drawing on sophisticated statistical modelling and estimation capabilities, will provide opportunities to meet increasing demands to deliver more and better statistical services in a challenging fiscal environment.