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1316.3 - Statistical Update Queensland (Newsletter), Sep 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/10/2006   
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In This Issue

Census
New Census Web Interface for 2006

Statistical Developments
Web Articles on Water and Energy Conservation in Queensland
Emerging Trends in Data Communication
Information Skills Program Can Train Your Staff in Researching ABS Statistics
Integrating the National Statistical Service and the Statistical Clearing House Web Sites

Indigenous Statistics
Recent Developments in the Collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Welfare Statistics 2005

Statistical Corner

Really Simple Syndication

Other

Selected Recent and Expected Releases (February to June 2006)
Development of Measures of Queensland's Progress (MQP)
ABS Contact Points

Census

Census: a taste of what's to comeNew Census Web Interface for 2006

For the 2006 Census, a new, simplified web interface has been developed by the ABS. Launched on 4 August 2006, this interface guides the user through a series of steps which will enable access to a product(s) relevant to their needs.

A taste of what is to come...

You can now access Census statistics in their new format from the Census link on any ABS web page. This is a valuable opportunity to familiarise yourself with the new, simplified interface before the 2006 data is available.

Access 2001 Census data for free via the following online options:

  • New QuickStats - A quick and simple summary of key Census data relating to persons, families and dwellings.
  • New Census Tables - A product that offers you the chance to obtain Census data in a single table for a specified geographic area.
  • Community Profiles - A series of profiles providing key Census characteristics related to persons, families and dwellings, covering most topics on the Census form.
More new products will be available online in the future.

We'd like your feedback!

This interface is designed to offer you superior access to Census data and metadata. Follow the feedback link located at the bottom of the interface pages to let us know what you think.

Bookmark www.abs.gov.au and follow the Census link to check out new Census developments as they happen.
Statistical Developments

Web Articles on Water and Energy Conservation in Queensland

Two new articles on Water Use and Conservation in Queensland and Energy Use and Conservation in Queensland were released on the ABS web site in July.

Each article was designed to inform debate on resource conservation in Queensland. With increasing demands on Queensland’s natural resources, fuelled by severe drought conditions, a rising population and a growing economy, a data analysis of Queensland’s water and energy sources over the past 10 years is a valuable information resource for households, business and government.

Some of the Queensland data available includes:
  • use by sector;
  • water sources;
  • conservation methods; and
  • energy sources

Data on water use and conservation was sourced from the ABS Water Account for Australia, 1993-94 to 1996-97 and 2000-01 (cat. no. 4610.0) and Environmental Issues: People’s views and practices, 2004 (cat. no. 4602.0), while information for the energy use and conservation article was taken from the Environmental Issues: People’s views and practices, 2005 (cat. no. 4602.0).

For further information contact Arthur Poulter on 07 3222 6084 or arthur.poulter@abs.gov.au.

Emerging Trends in Data Communication

Results of a survey recently conducted by Statistics Canada suggest that many National Statistical Offices (NSOs) are in different stages of progress in migrating from a paper-based publishing regime to a web-based publishing regime, and the common theme and challenges faced by them today are to make the World Wide Web an effective medium for the on-line communication of statistics.

Like many other NSOs, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is positioning itself to use the Internet as the principal channel for data communication. There are a number of strategies in place to fulfil the ABS goal of web publishing. These are:

  • improving communication of statistics to facilitate user discovery of information and assessment of its fitness-for-purpose;
  • broadcasting and proactive dissemination of information such as email notification and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) (see article below for information on Really Simple Syndication);
  • improving self help;
  • writing once/publishing many times using the same content for various mediums e.g. paper or electronic to improve the efficiency and consistency of information released;
  • adopting a layered approach by creating subdirectories;
  • training in writing for the web;
  • contextual linking of metadata; and
  • publishing web magazines.

Along with achieving the strategies outlined above, the ABS is proud to be part of researching and adopting ground breaking methods of designing web sites for improved use of statistics.

ABS research into cognitive psychology showed three important cognitive processes for understanding information:
  • perception - attaching meaning - using well recognised symbols and organisational cues such as signs and pictures to enhance cognitive learning.
  • attention - focusing on sensory information or particular information/topics - use of a topics framework to enhance cognitive understanding - avoiding cognitive overload as too much information causes confusion - the mind generally remembers 9 items.
  • learning - reinforcing or coding into memory - consistency through ABS standards and writing interesting statistical stories and allowing for the discovery of patterns in statistical data to reinforce learning.

Further information regarding improved Data Communication strategies can be found in the following publication on the ABS web site 1211.0 - Data Communication - Emerging International Trends and Practices of the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006.

Information Skills Program Can Train Your Staff in Researching ABS Statistics

The Information Skills Program is a new service that provides ABS web site training sessions to government, business and community organisations. Training is conducted within the client's office and is a free service.

Since early December 2005, all statistics on www.abs.gov.au can be accessed and downloaded free of charge.

"With more organisations accessing the ABS statistics, we want to ensure that users have the confidence to find the right information for their area of interest and that's where the Information Skills Program can help.", outlined Judy Tayt, Information Skills Program Manager, Queensland.

What does the training include?
Training can cover a broad range of topics or can focus on a specific subject. Topics include:
  • Layout of the ABS web site
  • Search tips
  • Locating your area of interest using the statistical geography
  • Navigating to find your topic of interest
  • Population counts: census vs population estimates
  • Regional data and the Qld Theme page
  • Downloading files and software required
  • Case studies and classroom exercises
  • Who to contact for help.

Since March 2006, over 30 training sessions have been presented to organisations throughout central and south-east Queensland with close to 300 attendees.

ABS Information Skills Consultants can tailor the training to suit your statistical information needs. Both lecture-style and hands-on practical training are offered to ensure that your staff gain the most out of the training.

Course training notes are being developed in module-style format with a view to load the documents to the ABS web site Training Main Page. A number of training documents are currently available and can be found at ABS Training.

Book your course now!
Information Skills Training courses are now being scheduled for 2006-07. If you would like to take advantage of these training sessions, please contact Judy Tayt on 07 3222 6181 or email judy.tayt@abs.gov.au.



Integrating the National Statistical Service and the Statistical Clearing House Web Sites

The integration of the National Statistical Service (NSS) and Statistical Clearing House (SCH), web sites forms part of the strategy which led to the creation of the NSS Leadership Branch.

The NSS is a coalition of agencies that will deliver to Australia an improved range of statistical information for policy, research and decision making.

In 1996, the Small Business Deregulation Task Force produced a report called 'Time for Small Business'. The report recommended that a central clearance process be established for business surveys conducted by the Australian Government. The purpose of the process was to ensure that surveys are necessary, well designed and place minimum burden on business respondents. The SCH was established in response to this recommendation.

With the specific responsibility for progressing the National Statistical Service, the NSS leadership branch aims to not only harness all NSS functions under the one banner operationally, but to also ensure they present an integrated face to the broad statistical community.
The integration of both web sites helps to achieve alignment in identity and purpose of all NSS initiatives; including the SCH and the National Data Network (NDN). This conveys the intended message that both the Statistical Clearing House and National Data Network are National Statistical Service initiatives with both specific and general reference points to the aims and objectives of the National Statistical Service, which includes developing the capacity to enhance the scope and quality of statistical activity across government agencies.

It may not be well known, but apart from reviewing government conducted business surveys the SCH plays a vital role in educating the statistical community about survey best practice and the principles of dissemination, and in so doing addresses a key aim of the NSS; which is to deliver an improved range of statistical information for policy, research and decision making. More specifically, the SCH and NSS in a combined effort support other ABS areas in their collaboration with government agencies in the effective production and use of statistics.

An intended outcome of the integration is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all static and dynamic communication tools and networks by creating a seamless relationship between the three NSS entities. For example, many of the former SCH reference materials are now combined with the resources currently available in the NSS section of the website and there is also a direct portal to the NDN web site.

Finally, the integration ensures that all NSS projects and initiatives whether major, such as the implementation of the National Data Network (NDN) or minor, such as the various statistical networks achieve maximum exposure and an enhanced NSS identity.
Indigenous Statistics

Recent Developments in the Collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Welfare Statistics 2005

Publication 4704.0.55.001 - Recent Developments in the Collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Welfare Statistics 2005 was released to the ABS web site on 26/6/2006.

It discusses recent developments in the collection and reporting of statistics relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and provides information on the quality of data collected on Indigenous peoples from the Census, surveys and administrative records.

Good quality data on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are needed to assess the effectiveness of programs and interventions, and to evaluate policies that are designed to improve the status of, and service delivery to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This paper is an addendum to 'The health and welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2005' and has been jointly prepared by The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Statistical Corner

Really Simple Syndication

In November 2004, the ABS web site expanded its services and began to provide statistical headlines for each day’s release in Really Simple Syndication (RSS) format.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML format which provides an easy way to know when content changes on a web site. It offers an easy access point to view short descriptions (headlines) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, together with a link to the full version of the content (main features) to be displayed on a client’s web page or RSS reader.

How to access RSS - To use ABS RSS you will need an RSS reader in addition to your web browser. Search the web to find a free or inexpensive RSS reader. Search for ‘RSS newsreader’ or visit the Google RSS directory.

Once you have downloaded and installed a reader, follow its instructions for adding ABS RSS as a new channel. Where you are prompted to enter a URL, please use the following:

http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/Home/rss/$file/abs_rss.xml

Important: Please make sure that your reader is configured to look for updates no more frequently than twice a day. ABS headlines are updated only once a day at 11:30 a.m. Canberra time.

If you wish to publish our headlines on your web site or intranet please acknowledge the ABS as the source of these headlines and be aware of ABS
copyright conditions.


The benefits of RSS: Use of RSS saves users from having to repeatedly visit the ABS web site to check for new content - in this way it is similar to the ABS’ email notification service.

Some other providers of RSS feeds or RSS channels, including statistical agencies, allow users to customise the RSS content, for example delivering:
    • headlines for several days or
    • only headlines relating to a specific area of statistical interest.
The ABS has investigated the possibilities of providing customisable RSS feeds, but has chosen not to at this stage (due to costs and uncertain client demand).

For further information contact Mano Georgopolous on 02 6252 7792 or mano.georgopoulos@abs.gov.au.
Other

Selected Recent and Expected Releases (July to September)

All ABS publications are free to download from the ABS web site. To inquire about release dates please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or email client.services@abs.gov.au.

General Publications
1211.0 NEWResearch Paper: Data Communication - Emerging International Trends and Practices of the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006
1362.0 NEWInformation Paper: Regional Research in Australia - the Statistical Dimension: an Information Development Plan for Rural and Regional Statistics 2005
1399.0 NEWDiscussion paper: ABS Pricing Policy Review Outcomes - Public Consultation 2006
4651.0Land Management: Fitzroy and Livingstone Shires Queensland 2004-2005
Social Publications
1379.0.55.001National Regional Profile 2000-2004
3218.0Regional Population Growth, Australia 2004-05
3303.0Causes of Death, Australia 2004
3309.0.55.001Suicides: Recent Trends, Australia 1994-2004
3311.3.55.001 FINALDemography, Queensland 2004 Final
4362.0 NEWNational Health Survey: Summary of Results; State Tables 2004-05
4715.0National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2004-05
4715.3.55.005National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Queensland 2004-05
6287.0Labour Force Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Experimental Estimates from the Labour Force Survey 2002 to 2004
Economics Publications
6540.0 NEWHousehold Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing - Confidentialised Unit Record Files 2003-04

Development of Measures of Queensland's Progress (MQP)

The ABS Queensland office is developing an article for Queensland in Review: Measures of Queensland's Progress. This web product summarises the state of Queensland in a range of economic, environmental and social dimensions.

While the ABS has always collected statistics on economic, environmental and social trends, these data have usually been presented in isolation from each other and treated as mutually exclusive areas.

In recent years increasing debate that 'Progress' can no longer be measured solely by the strength of the economy have evolved: it is widely acknowledged that the economy, the environment and society are interrelated and all impact on well-being. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has already taken up the challenge of measuring Australia's progress in these three inseparable domains of life in the publication, Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP). Like MAP, MQP will present a suite of indicators of progress and will discuss the interrelationships between economic, environmental and social aspects of life, allowing readers to form their own view of Queensland's progress.

MQP will utilise a range of ABS and non ABS data as measures of progress. Collation of data is currently underway and discussions with various State departments and agencies will be taking place regarding statistical data suitable for inclusion in MQP.

Measures of Queensland's Progress is scheduled for release in 2007.

If you would like more information on this project, please contact Jane Delaney-John on 07 3222 6013 or jane.delaneyjohn@abs.gov.au.
ABS CONTACT POINTS

National Information and Referral Service
Telephone: 1300 135 070
TTY: 3222 6325

Consultants will assist with your statistical inquiries

Internet Site


www.abs.gov.au
email:
client.services@abs.gov.au

E-kiosk


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Library


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