Welcome to the March 2014 edition of the NSS News, a newsletter designed to keep you in touch with developments in the field of statistics. This edition contains information on GovHack 2014, benefits of TableBuilder, information on Data Visualisation and information on the Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF).
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GovHack 2014 confirmed
GovHack 2014 has been confirmed for 11-13 July. The ABS sponsored GovHack in 2013 and will be sponsoring the event again this year.
GovHack is an event where developers come to experiment with government data to come up with innovative and new applications for that data. Outcomes include mash-ups, apps, data visualisations, web services, APIs and more.
GovHack provides Australian, State and Local government agencies with the opportunity to showcase their data and build relationships with passionate data users and developers in the community.
For more information on GovHack and how you can get involved, visit the official website.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has a comprehensive range of data and information publications available on its website www.abs.gov.au, but did you know the ABS also has products to enable you to extract the data you want from selected survey collections?
One of the key data dissemination products is TableBuilder. TableBuilder is an easy to use online tool for creating tables and graphs from ABS microdata. Unlike static publications on the website, TableBuilder allows you to custom build your own tables using data variables you select (e.g. age, sex, location).
Starting with an empty table, data variables can be selected for cross-tabulation. There are options to display counts, percentages and relative standard errors in your table. Means, medians and quantiles can be calculated for a continuous variable (e.g. income). As well, you can create custom ranges from continuous variables.
TableBuilder isn't only about building tables, but there's also the option to create graphs using your customised tables. You can also save or export your tables in CSV, Excel or SDMX. The data produced uses dynamic confidentiality. This means confidentiality is automatically applied to protect the identification of an individual or an organisation.
In addition to TableBuilder Basic and TableBuilder Pro, which contain Census data, there a number of other datasets available in TableBuilder, with more datasets coming soon. Datasets include:
- Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, 2006-2011
- Australian Health Survey, National Health Survey 2011-12
- Australian Health Survey, Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2011-12
- Census of Motor Vehicles, 2013
- Community Engagement with Nature Conservation, 2011-12
- Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2009
- Education and Work, 2013
- Patient Experiences, 2011-12
- Work Related Training and Adult Learning, April 2013.
- Disability, Ageing and Carers, 2012
- Preschool Education, 2013.
A comprehensive list, including links to manuals and data item lists, can be viewed on the Expected and Available Microdata page on the ABS website.
TableBuilder can be accessed from the ABS website: www.abs.gov.au/registration. From here, first time users of TableBuilder can Register in the Registration Centre for ABS products. Once registered, users are provided with login details to access TableBuilder.
TableBuilder is reasonably priced with details of pricing on the Microdata Prices page.
For more information, access the online self-help documentation through TableBuilder Services and Support or phone the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
Data visualisation involves the visual presentation of data to communicate the stories contained in a dataset. Data visualisation allows communication of complex information in a way that is easier to interpret by turning data into visually engaging images and 'stories'.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is one of many National Statistical Organisations that have been researching and developing different tools and techniques to present their data in a more attractive and understandable format. To find out more about how the ABS uses Data Visualisation on its website, as well as information on the Policy Visualisation Network and other available visualisation resources, visit the Data Visualisation page on the NSS website.
‘The work on global geospatial information management over the past two to three years has confirmed that one of the key challenges is a better integration of geospatial and statistical information as a basis for sound and evidence-based decision-making.’ - Secretary General of the UN Economic and Social Council, 2012.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has responded to this challenge in two key areas. Firstly, the ABS has been working to develop better linkages between the statistical and spatial communities, both domestically and internationally. Secondly, ABS has worked with NSS partners to develop a Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF) that uses agreed geospatial infrastructure and methodologies to consistently spatially enable socio-economic information. The SSF consists of five elements, as listed in the triangle below, that are considered to be essential to integrating geospatial and socio-economic information.
The United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) also recognised the need for global efforts in this area and requested ABS conduct a programme review of National Statistical Organisations geospatial activities. The UNSC and the United Nations - Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM, the peak UN geospatial Committee) both considered this program review and accepted its recommendations to develop better linkages between geospatial and statistical communities, and develop a global SSF. Both UN bodies agreed to establish a UN Experts Group and conduct an international conference to pursue these aims. Members from both UN bodies have participated in the first Experts Group (30 Oct – 1 Nov 2013) and are planning a Global Forum on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information (4-5 Aug 2014).
Domestically, the ABS recently held a Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF) workshop with a number of Australian Government agencies who are custodians of socio-economic statistics. At the workshop the agencies shared their experiences in spatially-enabling their own statistics, as well as their uses for spatially-enabled information. A number of common issues and themes were discussed, and this information will be used to further enhance and develop the content of the Framework. The attendees provided general support for the SSF, in particular the use of the ASGS as a common geography through which data from disparate sources can be integrated for analysis, research and reporting purposes. Further workshops are being planned, including with state and territory government agencies.
For more information on the SSF:
- Visit the SSF Home Page on the NSS website
- Email a query to email@example.com