TYPES OF DATA SOURCES
The Directory includes two types of data sources: administrative by-product data and survey data.
ADMINISTRATIVE BY-PRODUCT DATA
Administrative by-product data are produced by an agency in the course of providing services and/or undertaking their core business.
The various government agencies that provide services or respond to matters relating to family, domestic, and sexual violence (e.g. police, courts, child protection authorities, hospitals) produce administrative by-product data as part of their case management and operational requirements. The information produced, including information about individuals who come into contact with the agency, the nature of their transactions, and any related outcomes, may be extracted from the administrative data systems and compiled for statistical or analytical purposes.
Administrative by-product data sources can provide rich datasets about people who come into contact with government agencies, however they will vary in terms of the nature and scope of the service, the quality and consistency of the data collected, and definitions of family, domestic, and sexual violence used.
Surveys are designed to collect data directly from people in the community about specific topics.
Survey data can complement data from administrative sources, and can also provide broader prevalence measures of certain types of violence. For example, surveys can capture incidents of violence that may not have been formally reported to police or other relevant authorities; or qualitative data about people’s perceptions of and attitudes towards family, domestic, and sexual violence. Where surveys use common definitions and methodologies, comparisons can be made over time and across datasets.
Limitations of survey data include sampling and non-sampling error, problems of accurate recall, non-response bias, respondents’ reluctance to disclose information about sensitive topics, and inadequate coverage.
For more information about the differences between administrative and survey crime data, refer to the information paper Measuring Victims of Crime: A Guide to Using Administrative and Survey data, June 2011 (cat. no. 4500.0.55.001).
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY DATA SOURCES
There are two main sources of data (for both administrative by-product and survey data) included in the Directory: primary and secondary.
Primary data sources are those in which the responsible agency/organisation collects or owns the data. They may directly collect and record the data themselves, or utilise a third party researcher or service provider to collect the data on their behalf.
The majority of data sources included in the Directory are primary data sources. Unless otherwise specified in the ‘Data availability and dissemination’ section of an entry, readers should contact the primary data source holders for any detailed questions or data requests.
Secondary data sources are compendium publications or reports which draw upon data collected and owned by other agencies and organisations. They can add analytical value to the original data; provide recommendations or information on the policy context; or present data in ways that differ from those presented by the primary source (e.g. graphs or diagrams).
Secondary data sources may hold summaries or copies of the original source data, however they usually cannot provide access to information beyond what is already published.
Entries in the Directory relating to secondary data sources are less detailed than those for primary data sources, however more information may be available via the links provided for the relevant agencies and publications.
OBTAINING DATA OR FURTHER INFORMATION FOR ABS DATA SOURCES
The ABS publications listed in the Directory can be freely accessed on the ABS website by searching for the product title or catalogue number, or by navigating via the Browse statistics page.
If the required data tabulations are not available in the suite of data tables, customised data can also be requested from the ABS through a charged data consultancy, subject to confidentiality requirements and release conditions. To determine the feasibility of creating such tabulations and associated costs, readers should contact the ABS through the National Information and Referral Service.
OBTAINING DATA OR FURTHER INFORMATION FOR NON-ABS DATA SOURCES
Further information about each of the data sources presented in this Directory may be obtained directly from the agency/organisation that manages the collection. There may or may not be a charge associated with obtaining unpublished data, and restrictions on release or access may apply.
DATA COLLECTION QUALITY
The ABS has not undertaken data quality assessments of the non-ABS data sources contained in the Directory, and their inclusion does not imply ABS endorsement of that collection or its methodology.
Decisions about whether or not a dataset is fit-for-purpose should be made by data users by means of the statistical collection information provided. Readers are advised to contact the data custodian for more information about data quality issues or methodology relating to a specific data collection.
The following ABS information papers provide further information about assessing data quality: