We’ve been thinking a bit about common data standards lately - what they might encompass, how they might be developed, and the pain points they could help us all collectively address.
I’d love to know people’s takes on two questions:
What does a common data standard mean to you?
What would (or wouldn’t) be useful to have in them?
Some explanation and background -
What is a common data standard?
A set of definitions for data attributes that provide a consistent approach to collecting and representing data that is commonly used across organisations. For example - agreeing how to define and collect sex and gender information or how addresses should be collected and validated.
For a human services-focussed example, check out the Common dataset for human services from the ACT government.
For an infrastructure and assets-focussed example, check out the Open council data standards.
What challenges might it help solve?
- Differences in how key pieces of information are recorded by organisations make it difficult to take a whole-of-government view of particular groups in the community (e.g. Organisation A collects people’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse status as [Yes / No] based on the individual’s own identification, Organisation B collects it based on a combination of [Country of birth and Main language spoken at home]
- Differences in interpretation of key concepts both in data and by the people on the frontlines of service delivery (e.g. The difference between sex and gender)