NSS News - March 2013
Welcome to the March 2013 edition of NSS News, a newsletter designed to keep you in touch with developments in the field of statistics.
We've re-designed the newsletter so that you can scroll through it within the one web page or alternatively, you can click on the individual items and the link will take you to the correct spot on the page.
This edition contains updated information on the NatStats 2013 Conference including confirmed speakers; an update on the Essential Statistical Assets for Australia initiative; newly released publications "Perspectives on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identification in Selected Data Collection Contexts" and "Defining the Data Challenge: Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence, Australia"; and statistical training offered at the ABS for 2013.
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How is the information game changing? Is 'big data' really the new frontier?
Only two weeks to go! Register now for NatStats 2013 to work together for a better informed Australia
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will be hosting the third NatStats conference at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, 12-14 March 2013.
The theme for NatStats 2013 is, "A better informed Australia: the role of statistics in building the nation".
A key focus is on the opportunities that 'big data' presents and overcoming the challenges in converting big data to knowledge. NatStats is a unique opportunity for everyone from across the statistical community to explore the role of statistics in shaping the future of Australia.
The full program with confirmed speakers is available on the NatStats 2013 website. These include:
• Professor Alan Lopez, Head of the School of Population Health and Professor of Medical Statistics, The University of Queensland;
• Professor Jane Halton PSM, Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing;
• Ms Serena Wilson, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;
• Ms Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia;
• Professor Ian Chubb AC, Australia’s Chief Scientist;
• Mr Geoff Allen AM, Director of the Allen Consulting Group;
• Mr Alan Smith OBE, Principal Methodologist, Data Visualisation at the UK Office for National Statistics; and
• Professor Barry McGaw AO, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at The University of Melbourne and Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Special Registration Offer
Buy three full delegate passes and get a fourth free!
For more information about NatStats, please visit the NatStats 2013 website or email: email@example.com
Essential Statistical Assets for Australia
As noted in the July 2012 NSS Newsletter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been developing a list of the Essential Statistical Assets (ESA) for Australia. The purpose of the list is to separate the core set of essential statistical assets from the number of other official statistics generated by governments and use the list to support the prioritisation of investment in statistical assets. The broader set of official statistics is still important and will continue to be produced and managed subject to investment, but the ESA for Australia list will assist in identifying those statistical assets essential for ongoing investment to inform decision making by governments.
In May 2012 the ABS, through the National Statistical Service website, released a consultation paper seeking public comment and feedback on the Essential Statistical Assets (ESA) for Australia initiative. In the six months following the release, there has been extensive consultation with users and producers of official statistics across the statistical and wider community. The consultation process has yielded 97 submissions varying in nature from formal submissions to feedback obtained through meetings with stakeholders. This feedback has guided the 2013 list of ESA for Australia, which will be released to coincide with the NatStats 2013 Conference on 14 March 2013.
For more information on the ESA for Australia initiative, please see the ESA for Australia homepage. The 2013 list of ESA for Australia and Information Paper will be available from 11:30am on 14 March 2013 on the ABS website, with links available from the ESA for Australia homepage. Alternatively, please contact Marie Apostolou (03) 9615 7500 or Paul Romanis (03) 9615 7362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perspectives on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identification in Selected Data Collection Contexts
On 1 February 2013, the ABS released the publication Information Paper: Perspectives on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identification in Data Collection Contexts (ABS cat. no. 4726.0). This publication details research projects conducted by ABS (with the assistance of external consultants) on differential identification in data collections. Although the impact of differential identification is hard to quantify, there is little doubt that it plays a big role in the changes observed in counts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Its effects are seen in population enumeration, survey and service use contexts and an understanding of some of the factors involved in an individual’s decision to identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander can help our interpretation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics. It may also contribute to changes in approaches to data collection and reporting.
The information paper describes two sets of focus group research conducted in 2010 and 2012 along with a brief review of literature relevant to differential identification from Australia, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. The focus groups looked at identification as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander in administration (2010) and survey (2012) contexts. Participants offered views on factors that both encourage and discourage identification, as well as the impact of various aspects of the data collection process, including survey methodology and social environment.
This work will contribute to a suite of projects to be conducted by the ABS aimed at better understanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander statistics. Future releases are expected throughout 2013.
For enquiries about this product, please contact Suraksha Maharaj on (02) 6252 5927 or email email@example.com.
Defining the Data Challenge for Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence
On 7 February 2013, the ABS released the publication Defining the data challenge for family, domestic and sexual violence (ABS cat. no. 4529.0). This publication defines and describes the social phenomena of family, domestic and sexual violence and aims to put it into a statistically measurable context.
It outlines the data collection challenges (including under-reporting, and barriers to disclosure), assisting in uncovering current and potential data sources in relation to family, domestic and sexual violence. It also forms the building blocks for a common language to help measure family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, and is an important first step towards developing a more comprehensive understanding of the extent of violence in Australia.
Defining the data challenge is part of a broader project being conducted by the ABS in partnership with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). This project aims to improve the evidence base for family, domestic and sexual violence as part of the Commonwealth’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
For enquiries about this product, or the evidence base building project, please contact Brad Petry on (03) 9615 7375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn to make better use of data with a little help from the ABS!
National Statistical Training Institute, the training arm of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), delivers statistical training in all states and territories to build the statistical capabilities of our clients in all levels of government and the wider community.
The courses cover topics such as:
• survey and questionnaire design
• statistical analysis
• statistical writing
• specific subject matter data.
For a complete list of courses and what is on offer in your state/territory, or to express interest in attending a course visit www.abs.gov.au/training.
Our courses include discussions and practical exercises and are highly valued by our clients.
We also offer
• A group pricing option for Departments that have 6 to 16 participants wanting to undertake a particular course.
• Upon request, customised training for Departments that have a specific need. This will incur additional costs to cover tailoring and redesign of materials used in training, and is subject to available resources.