Government that's informed by you

Objective 6 – Policy and services will draw on data and analytics

Objective status
In progress

We are modernising how we use data held by government. This data is a national resource and can benefit all Australians through better and more targeted government policies, programs and services. We can also use it to research and fix real problems. We’re carefully exploring its potential in line with community expectations. We are making some of the data we hold available responsibly and securely through open data platforms such as As we improve our ability to create policies and services that draw on data and analytics, you can expect more services that better meet your needs.

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Case studies

Central Analytics Hub support for bushfire response


Support Government in its national bushfire response by establishing an analytical capability within the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.


Bringing together data from across government drove a whole-of-government response, allowing for more timely decision making.


The Central Analytics Hub within the Department of the Prime Minster and Cabinet supported the Prime Minister with the national bushfire response by establishing an analytical capability within the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

The Hub brought together Australian Government geospatial, demographic and social security data assets to build a common picture for the Agency of the impacts of the Black Summer bushfires on local communities. These data-focused analytics drove policy development within the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and informed the Agency’s discussion and consultation with states, local governments and affected communities on bushfire recovery. The Hub’s analysis was also used in the allocation of early grant funding to local governments.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

COVID-19 disease spread modelling


Establish a regional disease spread model to identify different risks at a localised level and inform outbreak mitigation decision making.


  • will inform cross jurisdictional health social-economic trade-offs
  • allows better decision making and responses through capturing aspects of an outbreak that are not available in classical population-based mathematical models
  • enables governments to pose and answer crucial questions during an infectious disease outbreak and recovery and inform downstream/consequential models for use in informing policy and operations.


The importance of regional and sub-regional management within jurisdictions is self-evident, as COVID-19 increasingly presents different risks within different regions. For this reason, CSIRO’s Data61 and the Commonwealth Department of Health initiated a collaboration in late April 2020 to establish a regional disease spread model and explore its utility and potential applications.  The model establishment phase went well, and an ongoing collaboration is desired.

Going forward, this model has the potential to inform National Cabinet and Commonwealth decisions, such as those relating to international travel or the rollout of new rapid testing techniques and vaccinations, and create an impactful use case for whole-of-government data integration and data driven insights and decisions using leading edge AI technologies.

The project developed new methods to parameterise the fast agent-based epidemiological model that use observed Australian COVID-19 case notification data using a computational method rooted in Bayesian statistics called  Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) methods. A present focus is now on representing responsive and adaptive control within COVID-19 outbreak and spread simulation studies using a brand of mathematics called Stochastic Optimal Control methods. The prototype was built to answer crucial questions during an infectious disease outbreak and recovery, including:

  • What is a hotspot?
  • How do we manage hotspots in the context of jurisdictional borders while opening the economy?
  • What is a safe and stable state of disease transmission, by region?
  • What are the consequences of relaxing the current restrictions too soon?
  • What is the risk of a large-scale vaccine roll-out program in generating new hotspots?

A consistent and pluralist approach to modelling the spread of disease (not limited to COVID-19), across government is vital to ensuring that agencies are equipping decision makers with robust, sensible advice.

CSIRO (Data61)