Compare data services
 

Compare data services

There are a number of ways to access ABS data, in addition to data available on the website:

  • this table will help you choose the best data service for you
  • not all topics are available in all data services
  • additional information has been provided below the table to explain some of the terms used

Data service
ABS.Stat
(beta system)
Basic microdata in MicrodataDownload
Detailed microdata in DataLab
TopicsCensus of Population and Housing, including:
- Persons
- Families
- Dwellings
- Businesses in Australia
- Census of Population and Housing
- Disability, ageing and carers
- Education
- Health
- Income and housing
- Labour force
- Migrants
- Motor vehicles
- more available data
Census of Population and HousingCensus of Population and Housing
- Census
- Economy
- Health
- Industry
- Labour
- People
- Snapshots of Australia
Most ABS topics, including:
- Census of Population and Housing
- Demography
- Economic data
- Environment and energy
- Industry
- International trade
- Social data
- Trade
- Census of Population and Housing
- Disability, ageing and carers
- Education
- Health
- Income and housing
- Labour force
- Migrants
- more available data
- Census of Population and Housing
- Integrated data including BLADE and MADIP
- Disability, ageing and carers
- Education
- Health
- Income and housing
- Labour force
- Migrants
- more available data
Customised integrated data extracts, such as:
- MADIP
- Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE)
using:
- data already held by ABS
- new data you want to link
Self service or ABS provided service
Self-service
Self-service
Self-service
Self-service
Self-service
ABS provided service
Self-service
Self-service
ABS provided service
Free or charged
Free
Free and charged options
Free
Free
Free
Level of detail
Broad ranges
Very detailed
Broad - detailed
Detailed
Detailed
Customised
Broad ranges
Very detailed
Very detailed
Geography
State/Territory
- State/Territory
- Greater capital city
- Local Government Area
- Mesh block
- Remoteness area
- Statistical area (SA) SA1-SA4
- Suburb
- Postal area
- Socio-economic index for Australia (SEIFA)
- check data item lists
- State/Territory
- Greater capital city
- SA2-SA4
- Remoteness area
- Local Government Area
- Suburb
- Postal area
- State/Territory
- Greater capital city
- SA1-SA4
- Mesh block
- Remoteness area
- Local Government Area
- Suburb
- Postal area
- SEIFA
- State/Territory
- Greater capital city
- SA2-SA4
- Local Government Area
Customised
- State
- Greater capital city
- Remoteness area
check data item lists
- State/Territory
- Greater capital city
- SA1-SA4
- Mesh block
- Remoteness area
- Local Government Area
- Suburb
- Postal area
- SEIFA
- check data item lists
Customised
Data output
Aggregate data
Aggregate data
Aggregate data
Aggregate data
Aggregate data
Aggregate data
Microdata (unit records)
Microdata
Microdata and aggregate data
Output timing
Immediate
Immediate
Immediate
Immediate
Immediate
1-8 weeks
Immediate
Output vetted by ABS before release in 1-2 working days
2-6 months
Statistical skills
All levels
Intermediate users
All levels
All levels
All levels
All levels
Intermediate users
Advanced users
- Advanced users (microdata)
- All levels (aggregate data)
Platform
Online system
Online system
Website
Website
Website
Machine to machine/API
Emailed or securely transferred to you
Download to your own environment in SAS, SPSS, Stata or CSV
Online or ABS offices using R, SAS, SPSS, Stata, Python
- Access in DataLab (microdata)
- Emailed or securely transferred to you (aggregate data)
Prerequisites
Conditions of use
Conditions of use
None
None
None
None
- Conditions of use
- Responsible officer undertaking
- Safe researcher training
- Project and data custodian approval
- Conditions of use
- Declarations and undertakings
- Statistical skills
- Safe researcher training
- Project and data custodian approval
- Conditions of use
- Declarations and undertakings
- Statistical skills
Registration required
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Getting access
Further help
Data service
TableBuilder Guest
TableBuilder
Census products
Data by region
ABS.Stat
Information consultancy
Basic microdata in MicrodataDownload
Detailed microdata in DataLab
Data integration service


Additional information about terms used in this table

Data output

Data and output can be in either aggregate form (such as tabular data) or microdata (unit records):
  • Aggregate data is produced by grouping information into categories and combining values within these categories, for example, a count of the number of people of a particular age (obtained from the question ‘In what year were you born?’). Also referred to as tabular data or macrodata, aggregate data is typically presented in tables.
  • Microdata is a dataset of unit records where each record contains information about a person or organisation. This information can include individual responses to questions on surveys or administrative forms.

Geography

Most datasets provided by the ABS relate to the whole of Australia, but may also contain geographic data items such as state or territory, as a characteristic of the record of interest. ABS uses the Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS), which includes both ABS structures (such as remoteness or urban/rural definitions) and non-ABS structures (such as suburb or local government area).

Level of detail

Data services are provided in different levels of detail, so it is important to check that the service will meet your needs:
  • broad ranges - limited data items may be included, data items may be provided in groups, such as 5 or 10 year age ranges, broad geographies only may be included, such as state/territory and capital city/balance of state
  • detailed - more data items may be included, data may be provided in single values, or finer ranges, finer geographies may be included, such as Statistical areas, local government areas and suburbs or postcodes
  • very detailed - many data items may be included, data may be provided in single values, such as individual income amounts, very fine geographies may be included, such as meshblock
  • customised - finer detail for some data items may be offset by broader detail for other data items, in order to provide you with the level of detail you need for your request

Output timing

Some data services allow you to view your output immediately, and are available for you to use at any time of day. Other services, such as DataLab, you need to wait for an ABS staff member to clear your output before it is provided to you. For data services that are not self-serve, such as Information Consultancies or Data Integration services, the ABS will create your output, and then provide it to you. The creation process can take several weeks or months for complex requests.

Platform

Data services are provided in various forms such as:
  • on the ABS website - you can access datasets or information directly from a web page
  • online system - you log into a system from a web page, where the system is hosted on a secure server
  • machine to machine/API - you use an application programming interface (API) from your environment to access a system using code instead of a user interface
  • email or secure transfer - if ABS is providing your output to you, we will let you know how the data will be sent to you

Prerequisites

Some data services have conditions of use that you must agree to before you are able to access the data. See:
Self-service

Some data services are available immediately, and can be used at any time of the day. In other cases you may need to contact the ABS first to arrange access, but once you have been approved, the service is usually available 24 hours/7 days. Other services are provided by the ABS, so you will need to specify your needs, then allow time for the ABS to complete the work before you receive your output.

Statistical skills

All ABS data requires some statistical understanding to interpret what the data means:
  • all levels - data services that are designed to get you started, or to be used by intermediate or advanced users to complement more complex services
  • intermediate - some statistical training or experience needed to use these services, such as TableBuilder
  • advanced - you will need to have several years of statistical training or experience to be able to use these services, such as DataLab







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