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Case Study 5: Data Acquisition (Target 3.3)
The ABS is continually working to improve the ways that it collects, processes, and publishes data. Following the consolidation of its functionally and geographically dispersed workforce in a National Data Acquisition Centre (NDAC), the ABS has been able to provide businesses and households providing data with a more seamless and user focused experience through the introduction of contemporary online platforms and new infrastructure in the field. These enhancements have also enabled the ABS to provide statistical outputs to the community in shorter time frames, increasing the relevance of our data.
During 2017–18, a number of key advancements were made in the collection of information. They include:
- Delivering the ability for household surveys to be completed on-line by providers – historically they could only be done with interviewers.
- Improving survey design that provides a contemporary experience for providers to respond on-line (using PC, laptop, tablet or mobile) and an improved experience for ABS staff who interview providers by telephone or face-to-face.
- The replacement of security questions with SMS based password resets improving security and making it easier for survey respondents to self-service if they forget their password.
- Refreshed approach materials, adopting more user centred design principles.
In addition, both the General Social Survey (GSS) and the Health Literacy Survey (HLS) have successfully tested enhanced data acquisition capabilities in the field, delivered as part of the ABS Statistical Business Transformation Program (SBTP). NDAC staff using the system found that a cleaner interface reduced the chance of human error and assisted in prioritising workloads. Learnings from this test will be integrated into continuing to build a more responsive system of data collection.
The NDAC has been working in partnership with Deakin University, enabling the ABS to access skills and resources of the university to complement ABS capability. NDAC collaboration with Deakin University over the past year has had a particular focus on building and implementing a contemporary business model which makes the workplace more innovative and adaptable, enabling us to better respond to and assist our providers. This aligns with the transformation goals of strategy and people; enabling effective use of resources, building strong partnerships with a diverse and agile workforce. This work will continue throughout 2018 and will provide a clear strategy for the successful on-boarding of our full suite of surveys.
General Social Survey guidance material