Identify and use existing data

Talk to data experts

Talk to your information and data architect and data owners at the outset about potentially using existing data sets. They can refer you to other technical staff if required.

Using third party data

When using data that you do not own (including open data), you must ensure: 

  • you understand the quality of the data, its completeness and whether it's fit for your purpose 
  • the cost of using it is clear
  • you maintain the privacy and confidentiality of customer data through controls and contracts or agreements
  • you understand and comply with any conditions of use.

Your legal team must review any contract or agreement, even if you're using an existing one.

Accessing open data

Not all data requires permission to use it, particularly if it's not personal or sensitive in nature This data is known as open data. The NSW Government (Data.NSW) and Australian Government ( provide large repositories of open government data.  

In some cases, you may need approval to access certain types of government data that isn't open data. Contact your data and information experts. They will know the business rules and requirements to use or access data sets in your agency, or when reusing existing government data sets.

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