The Department seeks to increase the use of data to improve its policies and programs, including by making non-sensitive data publicly available. Our work in this area is driven by the Australian Government Public Sector Data Management Agenda.
In 2016–17, we continued to develop our data management strategy. Work focused on coordinating policies, processes and protocols for the sharing and use of data. To date, we have released 13 datasets on the open government data platform, data.gov.au.
The Department sponsored GovHack in 2016–17. This annual competition encourages people from both the private and the public sectors to use open government data to develop new insights into pressing policy questions. Winning entries created interactive maps that showcased growth industries by location and job creation and industry activity by region. The intention is to sponsor GovHack again in 2017–18.
The Department is working on building its data analysis capabilities. In 2016–17, a number of departmental staff were supported to study data analytics at the Australian National University. These staff augmented their skills, shared their learning with peers, and were involved in a number of new data projects. Study support for staff will continue in 2017–18.