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International Data Lab approved in Sydney

Stats NZ has approved the first international Data Lab in Sydney, Australia, to give researchers greater access to the data it holds.

The Sydney-based lab opened at the premises of Ernst & Young on 16 August 2017. Analysts from Ernst & Young will remotely access Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) for a project they are doing for the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and the Ministry for Vulnerable Children (Oranga Tamariki).

Ernst & Young is already a trusted Data Lab customer. Their analysts have been using the IDI Data Lab at MSD in Wellington for the past year. Opening the Sydney Data Lab will not change the nature of the work they are doing using the IDI, only the physical location for the work changes.

The project examines the costs and benefits of efforts to support vulnerable children and their families. It takes a lifetime view of children’s well-being and focuses on early intervention to prevent poor outcomes for children. The project will develop a framework to allow MSD and Oranga Tamariki to better target help and services to vulnerable children and their families, to ensure that taxpayers’ money is being used in the best way possible.

Security arrangements at the Sydney Data Lab are the same as for Data Labs in New Zealand. As well as policies, procedures, and systems for physical and electronic security, Stats NZ also operates a ‘five safes’ framework. This framework ensures access to data is only provided to trusted researchers, projects are in the public interest, data can only be accessed in the secure Data Lab environment, and that research results do not identify individuals.

The Sydney Data Lab is a test case. If it is successful Stats NZ may approve further international Data Labs, to allow better access to Stats NZ’s integrated data for Stats NZ approved researchers.

Note: The IDI can only be used for research purposes by researchers, and their projects, who are approved by the Government Statistician and are for the public good.

Ends

For media enquiries contact: James Weir, 021 285 9191
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 17 August 2017

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