A government analytics hub is using data to explore complex policy questions and support informed policy decisions, according to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The Central Analytics Hub — a unit within PM&C that uses government data to lead projects — is one of five analytical units funded through the $130.8 million Data Integration Partnership for Australia, started in 2017.
In its quest to use public data, the hub is “driving cultural change”, “establishing partnerships with academic researchers”, and “pursuing new data integration projects that will answer questions we have previously been unable to answer”.
“Good data is vital for good public policy,” PM&C said.
Through the Multi Agency Data Integration Project, the hub recently utilised agency data from 2011 to gain a deeper understanding of the gender pay gap, PM&C said, which will “help to better target future policies”.
The data found female-dominated industries tend to have lower full-time salaries, and most industries pay women less than men for the same job. The largest pay gap was in the mining industry, in administrative and clerical roles.
Over the past year, the hub has led the National Drought Map, with the aim of delivering meaningful support to drought affected farmers while providing the public with access to relevant data.
Various governments, private and non-profit sectors have been generating drought data, which has been collected in collaboration with the CSIRO’s Data61 and the now-ceased Joint Agency Drought Taskforce. The interactive map was created using the TerriaJS open source platform.
The hub is currently working on several projects to “support whole-of-government priority policy issues to inform taskforces, policy development and other government processes”.
Over this year and next, projects include:
- Outcomes for job seekers who have left employment services programs in remote Australia since 1 July 2013 ($300,000).
- Evaluating impacts of international migration on Australia ($294,754).