The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is a vital part of Australia’s national infrastructure. It provides trusted information on the economy, population, society and the environment. The official data guides government policy, influences planning decisions and funding distributions, shapes business decisions and assists the Australian people exercise informed choices in the conduct of our democracy.
The ABS has a proud history of 110 years, however, all national statistical offices are being challenged by many disruptions and opportunities. These include: Big Data, resource constraints, fake news, reduced trust in governments and key institutions, increasing difficulty collecting information from households and businesses, new statistical techniques and new possibilities opened up by emerging technology.
The Australian Statistician, David W Kalisch, will discuss how the ABS is transforming itself to meet the demands of the fast-moving Information Age where opportunities, expectations and technology are all moving at a considerably faster pace than in the past. And these challenges are set against a general government requirement of fiscal constraint demanding organisations do more with less.
Mr Kalisch will outline how the ABS is tackling these issues by taking innovative approaches to its partnerships, strategy, governance, workforce, culture and infrastructure. He will give an insider’s view on how the ABS conducted the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, which was completed in fewer than 100 days from Government direction and achieved a “Bigger-than-Brexit” participation rate of nearly 80 per cent – an extraordinary result for a voluntary survey.