This page belongs to: Data strategy 2021–2024

Strategy at a glance

Our vision

We are a data-driven organisation. We use data effectively to support the development of a strong, modern and resilient economy for all Australians.

Our context

  • Governments increasingly need quality, ready-made insights to inform policy, programs, regulation and services.
  • We have increased opportunities to leverage data and digital transformation to improve our data maturity and capability across the department.
  • Our stakeholders and the community expect a seamless, digitally enabled government.
  • Increasing collaboration with other government agencies through data expertise and analytical capability to achieve better outcomes collectively.
  • The public data agenda promotes the appropriate, ethical and secure use and sharing of relevant data.

Building on our previous data strategy

This strategy builds on the achievements of our Data Strategy 2018–20. Key highlights include:

  • People and capabilities – We trained employees to analyse, visualise, use and share data in their work.
  • Culture – We promoted the importance of data to all our work, engaging employees through communities of practice and activities such as Data Month.
  • Data – We improved our data management and governance, by streamlining our data certification process and making more data accessible across the department.
  • Analytics and visualisation – We implemented our Data Analytics Framework, and laid foundations for the development of new data science capabilities and tools. We also began improving collection, management and use of location data and enabled more self-service analytics.

Data Strategy 2021–2024 priorities

1. Capability and culture – from data literacy to data fluency

  • Provide continuous learning and development for all roles and data capability levels, in line with the objectives of the APS Data Professional Stream.
  • Empower senior leaders to foster a data-driven approach to our work.
  • Raise awareness of best-practice examples and the Data Policy Branch’s services and training.
  • Influence data policy and the public data agenda across the APS.

2. Governance – optimise our data governance and management

  • Ensure data is governed, well managed and secure from creation to destruction.
  • Make data governance more efficient through automation and better guidelines.
  • Improve processes and technology to make data more discoverable and accessible

3. Analytics – best-practice, fit-for-purpose analytics

  • Expand self-service analytics and visualisation offerings, including for Power BI.
  • Encourage employees to use data visualisation when communicating policy.
  • Upgrade tools for energy, emissions and climate change data.
  • Deploy secure enterprise-grade data tools for advanced analytics and qualitative data.
  • Embed best-practice analytics across the department through our Data Analytics Framework.

4. Location-based insights – enable greater use of location data

  • Make employees aware of location data’s value and our location data support services.
  • Work with business areas to implement better tools for collecting and analysing location data, including address validation and geocoding.
  • Collaborate across government to influence location data policy, practice and capability.

Strategic context


  • Supporting ministerial and portfolio priorities to deliver economic growth and job creation
  • Executive Board priorities and strategy
  • Our Portfolio Budget Statements and Corporate Plans
  • Alignment with our Digital Strategy 2021-23
  • Our People Strategy 2020-22, including employee capability

Whole of government and APS

  • Supporting key government priorities, including Budget and COVID-19 response initiatives
  • Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020
  • Improved data sharing across the APS
  • Community expectations of a modern, digitally-enabled APS and tailored service delivery
  • Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries Data Groups’ priorities and initiatives, including the APS Data Professions Stream


  • Supporting government responses during national crises and significant events
  • Building public trust in the way government uses and shares data
  • Office of the National Data Commissioner
  • Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
  • Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting and National Cabinet priorities.

Challenges and opportunities

While we will face a range of data-related challenges over the term of this strategy, these offer opportunities for us to improve how we collect and use data in our day-to-day work.

Challenges Opportunities
Using data to respond to, support and implement the government’s priorities Provide better data and evidence to support government priorities and address implementation challenges.
Strong data culture and analytical capability is not uniform across our department. Build a data-driven culture and increase our technical capabilities by engaging experts and leaders who can share their knowledge.
Growing number and complexity of policy and program functions, business systems and data holdings. Integrate functions and data sources to improve our policy and program capability.
A changing data and technology landscape, including the Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020. Use new technologies and data-sharing frameworks to provide new ways to manage, use and share data.