1392.0 - Statistical News SA, Jun 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/06/2011   
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Recent ABS Publications

Quality Management of Statistical Outputs Produced From Administrative Data, March 2011 (cat. no. 1522.0)

Released on 22 March 2011, this paper provides information on managing the quality of statistics produced from administrative data. Administrative data consists of information collected for purposes other than that of a statistical nature. This type of information is often obtained from records or transactional data from government agencies, businesses or non-profit organisations which use the information for administrative purposes. Examples of administrative data include registration or births, deaths and marriages, customs data, taxation data, school enrolments and hospital records.

The paper focuses on key principles and best practices to assist in the management of the acquisition of administrative data. This information would be useful for any agency considering entering into a relationship regarding the supply and access of administrative data, as well as those agencies already involved in this area.

This paper can be used in conjunction with other previously released ABS papers in the quality management series:

Discussion Paper: Methodological Review of Counting the Homeless, 2006 (cat. no. 2050.0.55.001)

Released on 31 March 2011, this discussion paper outlines the results of the review of the methodology used in the Counting the Homeless 2006 (cat. no. 2050.0) publication. The methodological review analyses the relationships between the methods used by the authors of the original paper, Chamberlain and MacKenzie, and the underlying Census data used as part of their methodology. In addition, the discussion paper proposes a consistent, transparent and repeatable process for producing homelessness estimates using Census data for 2001, 2006 and to be repeated in 2011.

Outcomes from this review will play an important role in the process of finalising the methodology for producing estimates of the homeless population enumerated in the Census. The final methodology, to be used to compile estimates from 2001 onwards, will be published in mid 2011.

National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection Manual, 2010 (cat. no. 4240.0.55.001)

This manual, released on 5 April 2011, contains information on collection methods, procedures, data comparability and quality issues associated with the National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Collection. This is a useful guide for data users or data providers in interpreting this administrative collection and its statistical output.

The manual is intended to fulfil a number of functions:
  • A traditional end to end user's guide to collection methodology and output, data collection standards, definitions and rules;
  • A set of business rules to guide the reporting of early childhood education and care statistics, including methodological differences between jurisdictions and jurisdictional specific data limitations; and
  • Instructions, explanation and guidance for the collection and reporting of both unit record level and aggregate data collections.

These guidelines aim to facilitate the delivery of nationally comparable ECEC statistics from 2011 onwards. In the future, this manual will be released annually.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, April 2011 (cat. no. 4725.0)

In 2008, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) collected information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over and for the first time, it also collected information about children aged 0-14 years. This publication, released on 29 April 2011, uses this new data collected in the 2008 NATSISS to produce a range of articles on children and young peoples' cultural participation and housing circumstances, as well as their experiences of different aspects of the law and justice system.

This is the first in a series of publications to be released. Future editions of this publication will include articles on:
  • Education, Learning and Skills
  • Family, Kinship and Community
  • Health
  • Customary, Voluntary and Paid Work
  • Income and Economic Resources

The majority of the publication has been developed within the context of the Framework for Measuring Wellbeing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2010 (cat. no. 4703.0). The framework attempts to provide a holistic approach to statistics about the wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, including children and youth.

Other News

Australian Longitudinal Learning Database

High-quality education, starting from early childhood through to young adulthood and beyond, is central to Australia's future prosperity and social cohesion. The ABS proposes the concept of an Australian Longitudinal Learning Database (ALLD) as a means of enhancing the evidence-base for education research and policy into the future.

It is envisaged that the ALLD would be constructed as an integrated dataset drawing together information on education and training across the life-course. The core of the database would be enrolment data from early childhood education programs, school enrolments, data on participation in vocational education and training and higher education. The ALLD could include performance information such as the results of National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing. Information from the Census could also be integrated into the database to provide a foundation of socio-demographic characteristics and labour force outcomes.

The legislative framework of the ABS provides both the motivation for undertaking projects to maximise the use of existing data for statistical purposes and the safeguards on its confidentiality and security. As the ALLD project develops, the ABS will continue to engage with governments and the community to ensure that there is broad acceptance of this project, that data are held within a safe and secure environment, and that there are suitable processes for researchers to analyse the data.

Data integration using data sources from across Australia promises to result in significant and cost effective improvements in official statistics for statistical and research purposes, and evidence-based policy. The ALLD could assist governments and researchers to develop a better understanding of the drivers and underlying factors affecting student progress and outcomes, and could facilitate improved performance reporting.

For the full paper, please follow this link.