The Government’s Statement of Expectations requires the ABS to carry out its functions in a way that ensures it maintains its reputation as a world class statistical agency, and supports and promotes the efficient and effective delivery of official statistics and statistical services for Australia.
Our Strategic Directions seek to maintain the ABS’ reputation into the future. They are shaped by the evolving external environment, the advice of our partners and stakeholders on their future needs.
Our Strategic Environment
Our most significant challenge is the changing data landscape. Our enabling legislation establishes the ABS at the centre of the data landscape-to lead, coordinate, and collaborate with others in relation to statistical activities. It is critical for our success that we are able to improve collaboration across government to maximise the value of public data.
The ABS is ideally placed to lead the enhancement of the public sector’s capacity for data analytics, data collection, storage and dissemination, data integration, as well as provide technical services like confidentialisation. Along with sharing our statistical infrastructure, the ABS is uniquely able to provide stewardship across the public sector for the efficient management of public data.
Data and statistical skills
There is a high demand for data scientists who can analyse and interpret large integrated datasets. Over the last decade however, the proportion of Australians with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills has fallen.
Large integrated datasets can provide unique insights into complex policy problems, however, these datasets require specialised storage, management, analysis and publishing capabilities.
Few public sector agencies have the skills and ability to safely and confidentially analyse large integrated datasets. As a leader in this field, the ABS can leverage its expertise to partner across the public sector to create new and highly valued statistical products and services.
Investing in our statistics
Our customers have greater expectations for quality and timely statistics, and are demanding increased access to ABS data. The Australian economy also continues to evolve with emerging products and services, and changing interactions between businesses. The ABS must continue to invest in its core statistical assets (such as Labour Force, National Accounts, population estimates and demographic data) so they remain relevant. However, the ABS must continue to operate sustainably, making prudent investment in innovations that will not only make us more efficient over time, but also better able to meet the emerging information requirements of governments, business and the community.
ABS Strategic Directions
Reflecting our purpose, our environment, and enterprise risks, the ABS Strategic Directions are as follows:
SD1: Continue to invest in the production of high quality data and statistics
The ABS will continue to deliver high quality and trusted national statistics by investing in our people and using contemporary statistical methods, processes and technology. Taking a customer centred approach, we will continually review our products and services with our stakeholders to produce the most relevant data and statistics to meet the needs of the Australian community.
SD2: Be recognised as a leader in the Australian data landscape
The ABS will lead and provide guidance in best-practice data: collection; use; management; and safe and secure access, across government and other sectors to help maximise the public benefit of data for the Australian community.
SD3: Demonstrate leadership in data skills and capability building across Australia
The ABS will build data capability across Australia to help address existing gaps and emerging demand for data and statistical roles in the public and private sectors.
SD4: Deliver new data solutions and services
The ABS will continue to innovate and deliver new data solutions and services to provide fresh insights and help solve complex policy problems by: making better use of the data we collect; making our data more accessible to support different users’ needs; and working in partnership with others.