Improving labour hire data for better investment decisions

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is replacing the Digital Marketplace in 2024 and improving the way that government buys digital and ICT services. This blog series is your behind-the-scenes insight as it progresses, to understand where the project is heading and why. 

If you haven’t already, you might want to go back to the beginning to read about this project and why we are doing it.

In this installment, we look at how the DTA can improve procurement data for the classification of labour hire roles, to provide better insights to inform investment in Australia’s digital future.

Working with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), we spent 8 weeks testing whether the dataset for the APS Career Pathfinder provided a suitable framework to be incorporated into the new marketplace. Analysing data from over 11,000 ICT labour hire roles published under the existing Digital Marketplace, we found that it offered a valuable taxonomy that could be used to standardise data across government and enable real insights.

Why we did it

“We don’t currently have data that is consistent or granular enough to give us real understanding of what is happening in the market. It makes it very difficult to make good decisions about where we are investing our money, what trends there might be, or if there are any areas that need to improve.” said DTA Director Anthony Conway.

What we found

We found that 82% of the ICT labour hire roles published on the Digital Marketplace can be directly matched to a role or alias in the APS Career Pathfinder dataset, demonstrating that this framework is sufficient to cover the depth and breadth of Digital and ICT roles that buyers are looking for.

While we could largely automate the matching process, the rest of the ICT labour hire roles needed to be matched manually, which further reinforced the complexity of the existing data and the need for a more consistent approach going forward.

How we’ll use it

The final features of the new marketplace won’t be locked in until all the research phases are complete, but these findings have demonstrated that there is great value in applying the APSC’s role classifications to the new marketplace.

Not only would this provide better data insights for our marketplaces, but also a more standarised approach across government from which we can use to share and compare data more easily.

These roles will likely be used as the primary data fields when approaching the market, with buyers able to use additional fields to define seniority and the specifics of the individual job required.

“It might seem like a small thing, but by better categorising the services and roles that we are procuring we can make data-driven decisions about investing in Australia’s, and the Government’s digital capability,” said Mr Conway.


Stay with us

Keep an eye out for our next blog exploring the buyer and seller experience.   

If you have something to add to this topic, email us at