Objective 6 — Policy and services will draw on data and analytics
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 responsibly 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 data.gov.au. 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.
Data.gov.au makes it easier for Australians to access data published by government agencies. It contained 84,571 datasets as at September 2019. This is a 173 per cent increase from 31,000 datasets in January 2018.
There were over 1,243,000 users of data.gov.au as at September 2019.
Multi-Agency Data Integration Project
We are always trying to better understand how to target policies and programs where they are needed the most. Our investment in the Data Integration Partnership for Australia has enabled the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP) to help over 260 policy makers and researchers analyse more than 10 years of information on health care, education, government payments and personal income tax.
MADIP data is providing strong evidence to help us to develop effective policies to meet your needs. Currently, MADIP is improving our understanding of trends such as how older Australians use government services, the experiences of people with disability, and the experiences of farmers in drought-affected areas.
We are regularly adding more data sources. MADIP has strong safeguards to protect your privacy and keep your data secure. The Government does not release MADIP data in a manner that is likely to identify a person.
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Australian Bureau of Statistics
The Australian Government policy on data held by government is simple — all government agencies should make non-sensitive data open by default, and open data should be free, easy to use, and reliable. It is easy for you to find, explore and reuse this information on data.gov.au and nationalmap.gov.au. These websites include transport, mapping and geospatial, environmental and real-time emergency data. We’re adding data all the time. Government open data does not hold any private or sensitive information as we anonymise the data prior to release. We do this to ensure the highest privacy standards are met.
In the past 2 years we have spent $2.8 million improving access to open data through the MAGDA project. Open data stimulates business activity by building connections between government, private and the research sectors.
Digital Transformation Agency, Data61
Digitally Mapping Water on Farms
Water can be a scare commodity. In 2018, a new pilot using automated methods of digitally mapping crop and water extent was introduced. This was needed to better understand land use and productivity, particularly during times of drought. Digital mapping identified over 60,000 dams across NSW, and the data gained provided valuable insights into water availability and crop yields. This information supports more sustainable and productive land management.
These datasets will reduce the compliance burden for regulators and primary producers, who are required to monitor and report on their land use practices. The data gained also removed the need to manually process information, and farm dam levels can be monitored across the state with monthly seasonal updates. Digital Earth Australia is working to make these datasets available in each state and territory across Australia.
Digital constellations from user journeys
The Observatory shows us how people are navigating through government sites online and how we can create easier pathways to reach these services. The Observatory puts your privacy first. It does not capture personal information. It has visibility of more than 1.2 billion website interactions with government websites every month. This includes digital services from 30 agencies. We are applying machine learning techniques to identify patterns, trends and insights. We further analyse this data to identify improvements we can make to services. Our new and world-leading data analysis tools like the Observatory help us to simplify access to services to create a better user experience.
Digital Transformation Agency
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