Go to top of page

Special article 3: Statistical Business Transformation Program achievements

The way the ABS collects, analyses and shares data is being modernised. Through the Statistical Business Transformation (SBT) Program a range of initiatives are being undertaken to digitally streamline processes, to deliver benefits and reduce statistical risk.

Improving the way we collect data

Our new data acquisition capabilities are delivering efficiencies in the way we collect data. Our use of innovative household approaches, in addition to increasing self-enumeration rates, is improving user experiences for ABS data providers and survey respondents.

This year a Data Acquisition Taskforce was established to drive this transformative work. Milestones achieved include:

  • migration of a range of administrative data sourced from Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies to enhanced acquisition capabilities
  • increasing the availability of online data collection. For the first time participants in ABS Special Social Surveys (SSS) such as the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) and the General Social Survey (GSS) were offered the option to complete their survey online. Across multiple collection campaigns we saw between 20 and 35 per cent of respondents take advantage of this new option.
  • migration of selected annual and sub-annual (more than once a year) business surveys to new collection infrastructure.

Increased use of enabling infrastructure

Our use of the Next Generation Infrastructure platform increased during the year. A range of new and existing ABS information and communication technology (ICT) systems were migrated to take advantage of the increased automation and scalability of this new environment. As part of these migrations enhanced testing and deployment practices were introduced to support the increased use of agile development approaches across the ABS.

We delivered enterprise security and access management solutions to underpin technical capabilities introduced by the SBT Program. These capabilities deliver efficiencies in the management of data access through increased standardisation and automation.

The ABS Intelligent Coder is ready for use; it will improve the efficiency and accuracy of statistical coding and classification of data, through the use of machine learning capabilities.

Improving how we share data

Application Programming Interface

This year we introduced the ABS Indicator API. This new data sharing service releases data faster. Now, we can digitally provide key economic data to approved media partners, split seconds after the 11.30.00am embargo, enabling them to programmatically access selected market moving indicators instantly.

The API technology that underpins this new service will be extended in 2019-20, enabling other ABS customers to access our wide range of ABS data releases instantaneously.

ABS DataLab

Use of ABS DataLab continued to grow this year. We saw an increase in the number of approved researchers, as well as an increase in the range of data sets available through the DataLab.

New ABS website progresses

To enhance reliability and responsiveness, our existing ABS website moved to a new infrastructure platform. This enables faster publishing of ABS statistical releases and provides increased capacity in response to the increased usage of the website experienced over the year.

We also released ABS Beta, www.beta.abs.gov.au, to ABS customers and stakeholders for their feedback. ABS Beta enhances the accessibility of ABS content and showcases new content guidelines as well as publishing tools and standards.

Over the coming year and into the future

Work resulting from the SBT Program will continue to migrate into our business as usual processes for data acquisition and information dissemination. Adoption of these capabilities enhances the way we produce high quality data and deliver solutions, and enables us to inform Australia’s important decisions into the future.

Image of SBTP achievements for 2016-2018

SBTP achievement for 2018-2019