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3.3 - Improve the discoverability and accessibility of government data: Public data

Overall status:

Australia will make it easier for the public to find, access and use government data and information. We will do this by making greater use of central portals, digital platforms and other tools to improve discoverability and accessibility.

This commitment is included in the National Action Plan based on stakeholder suggestions during consultations held in approximately August 2016. This commitment addresses a number of suggestions, including: strengthening Australia’s data infrastructure; promoting ‘mashable’ open government data (interoperable via open standards and APIs); and improving accessibility to data from a range of topics.  

Current status

The Digital Transformation Agency is working with Data61 to develop the next generation of the data.gov.au platform. Together we have released an alpha version of new search functionality at search.data.gov.au and have shared early concepts of potential functionality at preview.data.gov.au. Since its launch in March 2017 the alpha search has been accessed by over 3,300 users.

Live platform elements for data.gov.au have been delivered and there is now better integration between data.gov.au and NationalMap providing more efficient workflow for the publishing and discovery of spatial data. In addition, the CTO group within the DTA is actively working on the design and prototyping of further capabilities and this is on track for completion by June 2018.

We are exploring ways to make data.gov.au more robust, including strengthening some of the backend functionality such as admin user interfaces and the ease with which the website is easily (re)deployed. This functionality will help ensure future owners of the website can easily deploy the website with little specialised expertise in open data portal infrastructure, should responsibility move to a different government agency.

Our aim is to continue sharing the work we are doing to improve data.gov.au. We invite feedback and comments from the public about the new functionality and features.

The activities and work to support commitment 3.3 are a part of the work plan of the Digital Transformation Agency. Additionally, Data61 received funding through the National Innovation and Science Agenda to develop platforms for high value open data platforms. Data61 uses this funding as part of its work on this commitment.

The new platform design for data.gov.au, with a redesigned user interface and improvement to search and discovery has been completed and launched.

Other stakeholders

Government: CSIRO’s Data61 

Steps to implementation

Implementation Step Implementation Period Status

Work with Data 61 to conduct research and discovery into data consumption (to better understand user behaviours and needs) and publishing (to improve quality, timeliness and value of published data).

Mid 2017 Completed

Work with Data 61 to create, circulate and gather feedback on design concepts and prototypes for improved search functionality and user experience on the data.gov.au platform.

Late 2016-Late 2017 Completed

Deliver live platform elements for data.gov.au, including integration with NationalMap to provide a more efficient workflow for the publishing and discovery of spatial data.

Early 2017-Late 2017 Completed

Design and prototype further data.gov.au platform capabilities, including: functionality to promote examples and collaboration using public data; and integration with other platforms for open data projects and third party open data platforms.

Early 2017-Mid 2018 Completed

Status updates for commitments are provided approximately every two months. With each update, agencies are encouraged to provide further and better particulars of the commitment and its steps to implementation, which may result in changes to timelines outlined in Australia’s first Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18.

Last updated: 12/02/2019

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