Data skills

NSW Data Skills – Learning Resources

Access to data and use of data related skills help government agencies develop and deliver better services.

This Data Skills pages bring together a broad range of data learning resources to support NSW Government employees. These pages will evolve over time to provide a growing set of learning materials on specific topics.

DFSI has also recently completed a draft Data Skills Survey Report to share the results of our Data Skills Survey. We received responses from 1156 NSW public sector employees on what data related skills they need and how they’d like to learn. We’ve developed this consultation report to consolidate what we’ve learned and to recommend some next steps. Please email us at IDG_Information@finance.nsw.gov.au with any feedback

Please note that the courses linked to below are examples only and the providers and courses mentioned are not endorsed by the NSW Government.

Using data to improve decisions and service delivery

Data enables informed decision making. Using data to inform policy and service design can help deliver better services, increase community participation, government transparency and economic opportunity. 

The Open Data Institute has published research on how data is being used to innovate and transform a range of industries.

The Open Data Institute has also conducted research into public services and the role open data plays in making them better and more cost effective.

Online training provider Coursera has an introductory online course on data driven decision making.  

Finding data to help me in my work

NSW Government open data can be accessed for free via Data NSW which brings together many NSW Government datasets into one searchable website.

Many NSW agencies also host their own data portals:

The federal open data portal, Data.gov.au contains thousands of open data sets.

The Victorian, Queensland, South Australian, ACT, West Australian, Tasmanian governments also have their own, active open data portals.

Creating and using data visualisations

Data visualisations present insights from data analysis in engaging and visual ways to help anyone to understand key insights generated from data.

Class Central provides a comprehensive assessment of the best online visualisation courses, based on student reviews and content evaluations.

Some agencies have subscriptions to Lynda.com courses for staff. Data visualisation courses available through Lynda.com include:

The Queensland University of Technology offers an online course, Big Data: Data Visualisation.

Understanding data governance rules

Digital.NSW provides an overview of legislation that outlines key, high level data governance requirements across the whole sector.

Agency staff should talk to internal colleagues about the business specific rules and requirements that apply to datasets in their organisation.

The Open Data Institute (ODI) has developed a Data Maturity Web App to help assess how well your organisation understands and implements its data governance responsibilities, as well as its maturity in other areas of data management. Supporting documentation is also available for download.

ODI’s Open Data Essentials short online course, also provides a brief overview of key data governance considerations.

The NSW Custodianship Policy outlines the responsibilities all NSW Government agencies have when managing, sharing and protecting their data.

Data privacy and security

It is critical to manage privacy and security throughout the process of making, using and managing data.

The NSW Information and Privacy Commission website contains comprehensive information on privacy protection. 

The NSW Cyber Security Policy outlines the information security requirements for the NSW public sector.

Digital.NSW contains information on how to safeguard data to protect privacy and data sensitivity.

Data policy and legislation

While your agency will have its own data and information requirements, on Digital.NSW you'll find an overview of key data legislation that impacts the whole sector.

Requesting data held by another agency

Digital.NSW provides a range of advice and steps to follow if you want request access to another agency’s data.

Members of the public can make requests under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) for government data and information.

Sharing data outside of my agency

Digital.NSW provides a range of advice and steps to follow if you have received a request from another agency for access to data your organisation holds.

It also contains advice on responding to public requests made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) for access to government data and information.

Simple advice on how data applies to my work

Digital.NSW provides information to help get across the basics, including definitions of common terms and basic information about why data and information are important.

The Open Data Toolkit can also help. It contains simple and practical information about the value of data and sharing data, including case studies of how sharing and using data has led to innovation and service improvement.

Releasing open data

The NSW Open Data Policy explains what open data is, why it’s valuable to the NSW government and community, and outlines NSW agency responsibilities in relation to open data.

The NSW Information and Privacy Commission has an open data e-learn that explains the value of open data in NSW.

Open Data Essentials is a free app-based training course developed by The Open Data Institute that covers the fundamentals of open data.

Safeguarding your open data to ensure personal and sensitive information is protected is an important element of open data release.

Short courses

Future Learn

Future Learn is a digital education platform owned by The Open University in the UK. It partners with universities and non-university partners across the world to offer a range of online courses.

A search for ‘data’ will generate a large list of offered courses.

Class Central

Class Central is a search engine and reviews site for free online courses popularly known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses.

A search for ‘data’ will generate a large list of offered courses. This site also provides student reviews for each course.

Information and Privacy Commission NSW

1 hour course, online

The Information and Privacy Commission, in collaboration with DFSI, have released a new open data e-learning module. The module has been designed in line with NSW Open Data Policy. It aims to increase understanding of open data and its importance across the NSW public sector, and to provide practical advice on how to embed sound information governance practices to support Open Data release.

This free course is available after registering on the IPC website.

TAFE NSW

Statement of Attainment in Data Management Skill Set

3 week course, 9 hours per week.

This course covers skills and knowledge for basic data management skills, setting up databases and introductory knowledge of Big Data Science.

Australian National University

Using Data to Answer Policy Questions and Evaluate Policy

9 weeks with one week intensive on campus and 8 weeks online

Participants will learn and discuss a range of analytical techniques that can be used to answer key policy questions, measure the impact of policy, and assess whether or not a particular policy improves lives.

University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education

Statistics Course for Non-Statisticians

Two sessions (3.5 hours each)

Provides a practical overview of statistics for non-statisticians. It examines the basic techniques for applying statistics in a broad range of disciplines, including finance, health and the social sciences.

UNSW

Data Management for Statistical Analysis

In person

Participants will learn the use of database and spreadsheet tools to organise and query statistical data, programming in an advanced statistical package for file management, data manipulation and cleaning, preparing data for a range of statistical procedures and the creation of data analysis reports.

University of Western Australia

Introductory Analysis of Linked Health Data

5 day intensive course

Health researchers, clinical practitioners and managers learn the theory and skills to analyse linked health data at the introductory to intermediate level.

Advanced Analysis of Linked Health Data

5 day intensive course

Health researchers will build on their pre-existing theoretical knowledge and skills in the analysis of linked health data by exploring a number of advanced theoretical topics.

University degree and diploma courses

Australian National University

Master of Applied Data Analytics

1.5 years full time or part time equivalent (min. 72 units)

Graduate Diploma of Applied Data Analytics

1 year full time or part time equivalent

University of Sydney

Master of Data Science

1 year full time or part time equivalent (min. 48 credit points)

Graduate Certificate in Data Science

0.5 years full time or part time equivalent (min 24 credit points)

Deakin University

Master of Data Analytics

2 years full time or part time equivalent

Graduate Certificate of Data Analytics

1 year full time or part time equivalent

University of Technology, Sydney

Master of Data Science and Innovation

2 years full time or part time equivalent

RMIT University

Master of Analytics

2 years full time or part time equivalent

Monash University

Master of Data Science

2 years full time or part time equivalent

Graduate Diploma of Data Science

1.4 years part time

University of South Australia

Master of Data Science

2 years or part time equivalent

Graduate Certificate in Data Science

0.5 years full time or part time equivalent

University of New South Wales

Master of Information Technology (Data Science and Engineering)

2 years full time or part time equivalent.

La Trobe University

Master of Business Analytics

2 years full time or part time equivalent

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