In this article
- Getting started with Data.wa.gov.au
- The role of data publishers in the data lifecycle
- The responsibilities of data publishers
Welcome to DataWA
Welcome to the DataWA Toolkit - your resource for working with and understanding data published by the Western Australian government at data.wa.gov.au. The Toolkit provides a wealth of guidance, how to guides, and examples for both publishers and users of data and is supported by the WA Government Open Data Policy.
|Data publishers are the second link in the data lifecycle. You’re involved in managing and publishing datasets for your organisation and are often the first point of contact for users of your data. You work closely with data creators to make sure that data is well described, is made available in interoperable data formats, and that data is kept up-to-date and changes to the data are managed appropriately.|
First time here?
Your key links for getting started with Data.wa.gov.au.
- The Data.wa.gov.au platform
- Creating your data publishing accounts
The Data Lifecycle
1. Prepare data
The data lifecycle begins with your data custodians preparing their data for publishing by so that it meets the technical requirements for being published on Data.wa.gov.au (e.g. using standard file formats, ensuring it fits within platform limits). You’ll work with them to ensure they’re aware of the requirements, and may need to liaise with the Open Data Team on any issues.
2. Prepare supporting material
Once data preparation is complete, your data custodians will need to prepare supporting material to be published with the data to enable people understand it (e.g. creating a data dictionary, writing your description of the dataset, a methodology statement describing how the data was constructed and any limitations and caveats). You’ll work with them to ensure that the material is comprehensive, written in plain english, and is easily understandable by others.
3. Upload and publish
With these key preparation steps completed by your data custodian, it’s now over to you to upload the data and complete the publishing process. What’s involved in this process will vary depending on the type of data you’re publishing. It may involve using a dedicated publishing tool, or involve uploading the data to a specific platform. You may need to liaise with your data custodians during the publishing process, and in some cases you may want to involve them directly in uploading the data and specifying how it should be published.
4. Make it discoverable
Once a dataset has been published you’ll work with the data custodian to make your data discoverable on Data.wa.gov.au, establish the metadata record is complete, and that all supporting material has been included. Once this is all in place, congratulations! Your dataset is now discoverable alongside a wealth of other datasets from across government.
With the dataset now published and discoverable you’re at the last key step in the data lifecycle - ensuring processes are in place for the ongoing maintenance of the data. If your data custodian updates the data frequently, the best way to ensure that it’s kept refreshed in Data.wa.gov.au is to put automated processes in place to publish regular updates.
Key links: The Data Lifecycle
- Preparing data for publishing
- Preparing collateral and supporting material for data
- Uploading and publishing your data
- Creating your Data.wa.gov.au record
- Data maintenance, change management, and automating updates
The responsibilities of a data publisher fall into four broad categories -
1. Data publishing expertise
Having a strong understanding of the mechanical and technical processes involved in supplying and publishing data. Working with data creators in your agency, you’ll be involved at every step of the lifecycle of their data - from giving advice on preparing data for publishing, the processes for publishing a new dataset; managing the ongoing maintenance of data, including data refreshes and change management; and decisions around retiring and archiving datasets.
2. Making data usable
You play a key quality assurance role by liaising with your data creators to ensure that the supporting material and collateral they provide follows best practice and is understandable by the wider community of data users. The key to making the data usable by others is making sure that datasets have good metadata that uses plain english to describe how the data was created, its origins, and includes any relevant caveats or known limitations of the data.
3. Open data champion
As a data publisher you’re responsible for working with your data creators to ensure that data is published safely and follows your organisation’s data release procedures and the WA Government Data Classification Policy. As your organisation’s champion for the Open Data Policy you’ll be working to ensure that data is published openly and publicly whenever possible, and that best practice is followed in choosing licenses for data that permit broad reuse.
4. Bringing your data to the world
You will play a key role in how data from across your organisation is presented in Data.wa.gov.au by ensuring that it is discoverable and easy to understand. You’ll be the first point of contact for enquiries about data your organisation has published, as well as requests for publishing new data. You will work across business units in your organisation to ensure that you’re maximising your own use of the data infrastructure powering Data.wa.gov.au - everything from streamlining how you handle requests for data to making use of the data visualisation and querying functionality built-in to the Data.wa.gov.au platform.
Key links: Your Responsibilities
- Guide to identifying and preparing data for release
- Checklist for identifying and preparing data for release
- Whole of Government Open Data Policy
- WA Government Data Classification Policy
- Licensing options for government data