The department supports the Government’s public data reforms, which aim to release non-sensitive data by default, promote the effective use and re-use of data to support evidence-based policy, and use data to deliver better services to Australians.
In 2018–19, the department developed and published a data strategy to prepare for a data-driven future. The four strategic aims of the strategy are to harness our data, grow our capability, protect our data and communicate data insights. The strategy’s six initiatives address the identified needs of the department in specific areas and are planned for implementation over two years.
The department has maintained its focus on increasing data capability skills as a crucial part of the data strategy. In 2018–19, the department continued to support a number of staff to study applied data analytics with the Australian National University and encouraged the use of self-service data reporting dashboards. The department also started work on developing data literacy and specialist skill development programs under one of the data strategy initiatives.
Making it easier to access data was also a major focus of the department in 2018–19. Staff now have a useful tool to filter and choose data assets and send requests for data extraction to the relevant teams. The department has also publicly released 37 departmental data assets on data.gov.au. Its Labour Market Information Portal contains another 30 data assets that are available for public access.
The department actively collaborates with other agencies to promote data sharing for research purposes. It is a member of the Economic Data and Analysis Network (EDAN), which promotes using data, particularly linked data between agencies, for policy development research. The department is improving its data management and reviewing its data-sharing policy to ensure they align with the Australian Government Data Sharing Principles.
The department was a GovHack sponsor and participated in the 2018–19 event to help promote the release and use of open government data. Its Job Placements and Employment Fund datasets on data.gov.au received more than 150 views during the competition.