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DEEWR rolls out visual analytics

Software will help government department uncover trends, bring information together

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has implemented visual analytics software which will allow staff to access data regardless of location and platform.

DEEWR is responsible for the delivery of the Australian government’s agenda on early childhood, school education and workplace relations.

Speaking at the SAS Forum in Sydney, DEEWR technology solutions group manager Susan Monkley told delegates that the SAS software will help it to uncover trends by offering greater insight into the vast amount of data held by the department.

“The ability to build a simple visual environment with quick response times is expected to have a significant positive impact on DEEWR policy development,” she said.

“We need to look at how we bring those information sources together, whether it is structured or unstructured data, because there is more demand for evidence based decision making.”

According to Monkley, tools such as visual analytics will help bring together data from five clusters within DEEWR which manage early childhood, education and employment relations.

She said that integration between the clusters is important because to achieve the best outcomes in employment for Australians, DEEWR needs to understand what interventions it makes in early childhood and school that can help someone get a job.

“Some of our clusters have very well developed research monitoring and product evaluation areas while others are not quite so structured,” she said. “This doesn’t mean we do our job well but there are opportunities to improve and do things differently.

“One of our opportunities is leveraging the skills and expertise that exist across DEEWR to support building our analytics capability. We have talented people in pockets across the organisation and we want to bring that together.”

For example, the department is working with SAS to establish centres of expertise in information management.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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