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TYPES OF DATA SOURCES
Administrative by-product data are collected by government agencies (e.g. police, courts, child protection authorities) and service providers (e.g. public hospitals) as part of their case management, clinical or other administrative records about clients and the nature of their transactions with the agency/service. Information may be extracted from these records and compiled for statistical or analytical purposes.
Administrative by-product data sources can provide rich datasets about people and their contact with government agencies, but may also be limited by the purpose/target population of the service, the structure of the data, variation in recording practices and different operational definitions of Family and Domestic Violence based on service eligibility criteria. By default, only formal system elements of the Family and Domestic Violence Framework are encompassed.
Surveys collect data directly from the chosen respondent. Surveys can be undertaken by collecting data from some, or all, of the population of interest to the study. In a census all units in a population are approached for information. In sample surveys, information is collected from some people in the population. Data from sample surveys are then 'expanded' or 'weighted' to make inferences about the whole population. Thus the sample is a set of observations taken from the population for the purpose of obtaining information about the population.
Surveys can complement administrative by-product data sources by collecting data that is not focussed on service delivery. For example, victimisation surveys are specifically designed to provide information about prevalence of crimes, details about victims and their experiences and reporting/non-reporting behaviours. Surveys are also designed to capture perceptions of Family and Domestic Violence and evaluative information on service or program provision.
To the extent that surveys use standard definitions and methodologies, they enable comparisons to be made across datasets and over time. Where standardised definitions of Family and Domestic Violence are used, they are able to measure Family and Domestic Violence incidents that may or may not be classified as criminal across all states and territories or captured by all service providers. Limitations of survey data sources include problems of recall, non-response, disclosure and coverage.
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