Reply to post: ABS Data Fail

Australian Bureau of Statistics drops big data bubble-buster

Gentleman Technologist

ABS Data Fail

Having been to three GovHack events now where the ABS data has been almost entirely inaccessible, I think the basic problem is that the ABS think they own the data and letting other people get their hands on it gives them the screaming heeby-jeebies.

Their "data portal" allows you to query to your heart's content, but then delivers a "CSV file" with 3 rows of consolidated header fields, with commas used as a thousands separator in all the number values. Utterly impossible to use for anything outside of entry-level spreadsheet stuff.

I would understand, except this is 3 f****g years they've had to get it right. Other departments, with ostensibly less experience about their data, have managed to get this right in one year after having the problem explained to them in short sentences.

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