DATA STANDARDS AND METHODS
The Data Standards and Methods Program provides conceptual and infrastructure support that underpins the ABS mission. The program is responsible for facilitating the comparability, integration, coherence and quality of ABS statistics, through the use of standard concepts, definitions, classifications, collection methods and procedures. The program aims to support the statistical collection process, mitigate statistical risk, enhance capability, and provide statistical information management leadership to the statistical community.
The program seeks to achieve this by:
- setting and reviewing ABS policies and principles for key statistical collection methods, standards and classifications
- providing leadership and expertise in the development of statistical and data management standards, practices and procedures within the ABS and National Statistical Service (NSS)
- building capability in standards, data management, concepts and classifications within the ABS and NSS
- leading the organisation in the preparation of statistical metadata in readiness for the new statistical infrastructure that aims to improve statistical outcomes.
Key outputs from the program cover the following areas:
- development and maintenance of key national standards on statistical units, concepts, definitions, questions and classifications that underpin population, social, economic and environmental statistics
- provide standards and guidelines on, and reviews of, the design and evaluation of collection methods
- implement the Statistical Information Transformation Program to improve statistical outcomes and prepare statistical areas for new ABS 2017 infrastructure
- build capability in subject matter areas in the use and/or development of statistical collection methods, standards and associated tools for their implementation
- provide support for the ABS Information Warehouse.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- review the Standard Economic Sector Classification of Australia to ensure that it remains relevant for the publishing of national accounts and related statistics - due June 2014
- develop and implement improvements in the management and governance of statistical metadata content leading to improved statistical outcomes - due June 2014
- develop, in partnership with methodology and statistical areas, the ABS's future coding strategy - due June 2014
- prepare priority statistical metadata content for use by ABS2017 infrastructure - due June 2015
- review the Income, Family, Household and Language related Demographic Standards in the lead up to the 2016 Census - due June 2016
- lead the transformation of statistical metadata content with statistical areas progressively - due December 2016
- promulgate and increase awareness for relevant standards for population, social, economic and environmental statistics on the ABS intranet and the ABS website - ongoing
- develop and implement best practices and standards for collecting survey data by web-forms and other electronic modes - ongoing.
Chris Duffy, Assistant Statistician, Data Standards and Methods Branch