What we do
PEAN brings researchers and policy experts together to tackle complex issues. We do this by carrying out research projects that use public data in new ways.
PEAN develops and carries out short research projects under the Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA) program to create new insights into important and complex policy questions through data integration and analysis. We also contribute advice to government on matters relating to the program.
The DIPA is a three-year $130.8 million investment to maximise the use and value of the Government' data assets starting on 1 July 2017. DIPA creates new insights into important and complex policy questions through data integration and analysis.
DIPA is a whole-of-government collaboration of over 20 Commonwealth agencies, and is improving technical data infrastructure and data integration capabilities across the Australian Public Service. Important data assets are being improved, allowing policy makers to gain insights that were not possible before.
PEAN's projects are part of the data analysis supported by the Data Integration Partnership for Australia. The projects deliver reliable data and repeatable methodologies. They show that it is possible to generate useful insights from data into important and complex policy questions. They increase our analytical expertise and network of partner agencies. Our analysts comply with strict privacy rules to protect the identities of people and organisations.
The projects use data integrated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The integrated data are government data on the economy and society from the Business Longitudinal Analysis Data Environment (BLADE) and the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP).
PEAN's projects compare these data with data held by our members, such as data on the physical environment, energy, agriculture and biodiversity.
Progress and achievements
PEAN engages multiple portfolios in collaborative analytical work that uses a wide range of data, not just environmental or agricultural data. We use our member's analytical capabilities relating to the physical environment to support policies and programs administered by other agencies. In 2018–19 there were 16 Australian Government agencies engaged in developing or implementing our projects, including in the Health, Home Affairs, Indigenous Affairs, Industry, Infrastructure and Trade portfolios. This has extended the reach of the Data Integration Partnership for Australia program to promote the awareness and uptake of data analysis, and to establish foundations for future cross-portfolio policy research.
PEAN has a strong focus on spatial data and successfully championed the importance of spatial integration to the Data Integration Partnership for Australia program. During 2017–18 PEAN convened a series of workshops with spatial experts to develop a project to improve the government’s capability to integrate and analyse data based on location. This resulted in the location index or Loc-I project. Loc-I will enable agencies to use location information to integrate their data efficiently, consistently and securely, replacing the need to do this on a bespoke basis for individual projects. This will reduce the costs and increase the scope of future analytical work.
PEAN is working with Indigenous leaders to generate analytical outputs that meet the needs of Indigenous stakeholders. Our projects support recommendations from the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum’s Indigenous Reference Group, which emphasised the need for improved access to government data, a strengthened role for Indigenous end-users in decision making, and improved access to information to support decision making about use of land, sea, water and cultural assets. We anticipate this work will contribute to community understanding of and support for future analytical projects.