1395.0 - Essential Statistical Assets for Australia, 2015  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/02/2016   
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As part of the Essential Statistical Assets (ESA) for Australia initiative, this publication outlines the key opportunities and barriers impacting the statistical infrastructure required to support the production and use of official statistics within Australia’s statistical system.

The opportunities and barriers were identified by Commonwealth, state and territory government data custodians, producers and users during consultation in 2015 on Essential Statistical Infrastructure (ESI), Phase 3 of the ESA initiative. Phase 3 follows on from the identification of the 74 essential statistics on the 2013 ESA list (Phase 1) and the assessment of the quality of those statistical assets in 2014 (Phase 2).

The main findings of the consultations were the identification of opportunities to:

  • Leverage existing IT infrastructure developments for wider use (opportunity 1).
  • Harness specific existing infrastructure developments for the national good, e.g. specific statistical and data standards, metadata registers, alternative frames and toolkits related to standards, classifications and registers (opportunity 2).
  • Synchronise investment in new infrastructure, especially where that infrastructure has potential benefit to Australia’s statistical system (opportunity 3).
  • Reduce the incompatibility of systems, methods and processes used across Australia’s statistical system (barrier 1).
  • Pursue consistent application of national statistical standards, definitions, classifications, documentation, metadata and reduce inconsistent application (barrier 2).
  • Improve access to administrative data, data sharing and integrating data for statistical and research purposes (barrier 3).

The ESI initiative, like the ESA phases before it, has been a collaborative endeavour with data producers and users who rely on good statistics for the business of government. The ABS would like to thank the departments and agencies who engaged and contributed valuable information.

To help make this report real, case studies demonstrating what government agencies and the ABS are doing to maximise opportunities and address statistical infrastructure barriers are included throughout.