What is EasyData?
EasyData is a unique data enquiry tool designed to simplify the gathering of up-to-date economic, social and environmental indicators. These indicators are available at state, region and local-government-area levels. The data on the website comes from a variety of sources, including the ABS and various government departments.
EasyData produces the data that you have selected in graphical and statistical reports and allows you to export your data selection to other reports, presentations and spreadsheets. For some functions, e.g. saving a report, users will need to have a valid email address and register on the site to get a Username and Password. (Just click on the “Register” link at the bottom right part of the EasyData panel and follow the instructions.)
The EasyData website has been developed by the Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED). All three spheres of government have committed significant resources in order to get the website up and running.
In the past, government agencies and regional development organisations have produced regional profiles, duplicating effort by drawing from many identical data sets. DTED has worked closely with DPC, DFEEST, Planning SA, other State government agencies, as well as the ABS and the LGA, to minimise duplication and maximise usefulness. The result of this collaboration is the EasyData website: a highly user-friendly website with over 60 indicators, linked to more detailed specialist datasets/websites to various sources of additional information.
How to use EasyData
The information presented here gives you a quick tour of the functionalities of the EasyData website. For more detailed information, please see the User Manual below or the FAQ’s at the end of this section.
Searching for regions and indicators
From the EasyData screen, you can select regions and indicators in the right hand panel. Click on the “+” sign of a Region bar to expand it into a list of its LGAs. To close the list and return to the Region, just click the“-”sign.
To select an indicator, click on the Social, Economic or Environmental tabs depending on the kind of indicators you are looking for. Each indicator header has a “+”sign to the left of it, which you can click to get more indicators, just as with the regions.
Selecting regions and indicators
This can be done by clicking on the checkbox to the right of the selected Region, LGA or Indicator or by clicking the map. As you click into each box a black check mark will appear. To produce a report you will have to select at least one Region (or LGA) and one indicator. If you select more than one region, the statistics for the regions are added together to give a total which is then plotted on the graph or chart. You can compare one region (or LGA) with the State as a whole, by selecting one region from the list on the ‘Selected’ tab and clicking the words ‘State total’ above the list on the ‘Compared to’ tab.
You can deselect the unwanted boxes in the right hand panel by clicking them again or by clicking the ‘Deselect’ link at the top of the list to deselect all Regions/LGA or Indicators.
You can also use the map to select a region, but the map allows you to select only one Region or LGA at a time. For a whole Region report, ensure that the map is zoomed out (use the ‘Zoom out’ button at the top of the map, if necessary), then select the Indicator(s) you want to report on. Click the required Region on the map and then click the ‘Region report’ button at the top of the map. For a LGA within a Region, select the Indicator you want to report on then click the left mouse button over a Region to zoom in and see the LGAs within that Region. Click the LGA you want to report on and then click the “Region report’ button at the top of the map.
Creating a report
When your choices are complete, you can click the View report button to generate your report in the left panel of the screen. Your report will appear in the right panel of the screen. The heading at the top of the report shows which indicators have been selected and the graph table shows which indicator is being charted. The data is shown either as a column chart or a line graph, with relevant axes and legends. The type of graph that is generated will depend on the source and format of the data. Some data is trend data and will be presented as a line graph; some is absolute data and will be presented as a column or bar chart.
If you select multiple Indicators, the individual graphs or charts will appear one after the other in the Reports panel and you can scroll down to view them. You can then ask for hard copy reports to be sent to your own printer or you can produce the report in PDF format. There is also a link to the source of the data should you require more detailed information.
The graphs in your report can be pasted in Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. (You need to register and log on to in order to copy data or graphs). In order to copy your graphs, just move your mouse over the graph and click once with the right mouse button. You will see a drop down menu appear with the word ‘Copy’ on it. Click ‘Copy’ with the left mouse button then open your document or slide show, move your cursor to the place you want the graph to appear and click the right mouse button again. Click the word ‘Paste’ on the drop-down menu that appears. Your graph will appear where your cursor was positioned. If you have put the graph in the wrong place, you can click once on the ‘Undo’ button on the toolbar (or press CTRL and Z keys on your keyboard); move your cursor to the correct place and repeat the ‘Right Click and Paste’ process.
Registering and saving a report
You can view data and generate reports without registering or logging in, but if you want to save a report (as a pdf-file) or copy graphs or data to your own computer, you will be asked for a logon id. You will need to register using a valid email address in order to acquire a logon id. Just click on the “Register” link at the bottom right part of the EasyData panel and follow the instructions.
After registration, you will also be able to build a library of reports by clicking the “Add to MyReports” button in the bottom of the right panel.
Creating and saving customised Search Criteria
If you regularly use the same set of indicators or want to report on the same selection of Regions and/or Local Government Areas, you may want to save your selections so that you don't have to reselect them each time you run a report.
To do this:
1. Select the required indicators
2. Click "Add to MyReports"
3. When the Add MyReports screen is displayed, save only the indicators, giving the list a meaningful name (in this case Business indicators)
When you return to the EasyData screen, the new list will appear in MyReports but will also show in the dropdown list of the Indicators tab.
I use ABS data, what will EasyData give me that I don’t already have?
It gives you simplified access to data from ABS and also many other sources and allows you to compare indicators across local government regions. It automatically generates graphs and charts for your selected areas and indicators. It allows you to extract the data and graphs you produce for use in your own reports and also gives you the facility to save EasyData reports on the website for future use.
What does the Standard Report contain?
For a quick snapshot of a region or LGA, users can access a standardised report for either a region or a LGA that contains several preselected social, economic and environmental indicators. To produce a standardised report for a region, click on the region without selecting an indicator. To produce a report for a LGA, just click on a LGA without selecting an indicator.
A standardised report for a region contains the following 12 indicators: Population Projections, Population Totals, Level of Non-school Qualifications, Average Net Business Income/loss, Development Applications, Gross Regional Product, 30% of Household Income Spend on Mortgage, 30% of Household Income Spend on Rent, Internet Connection, Personal Income, Persons Employed by Industry, Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector and Waste Collection.
A standardised report for a LGA contains the same indicators except for Gross Regional Product and Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Sector because these indicators are not available at LGA level.
What if I want more specific information?
Each indicator contains a link from the EasyData website to the organisation that is responsible for the data. By clicking the link you are able to obtain more specific information about the indicator you selected.
Who provides the data on the website?
The following organisations have provided the data on the website:
· ABS – Australian Bureau of Statistics
· ATO - Australian Taxation Office
· DFEEST - Department of Further Education Employment Science and Technology
· DEEWR - Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
· DFC - Department of Families and Communities
· DWLBC - Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation
· DTED – Department of Trade and Economic Development
· OSCAR - Office of Crime Statistics and Research
· LGGC - South Australian Local Government Grants Commission
· SA Department of Planning and Local Government
· Public Health Information Development Unit
· SA Department of Health
· Tourism Research Australia
How up-to-date is your data?
We update our website every month.
I want to reduce/increase the size of the graph in my report
If your graph has a fine black border around it and small black squares (handles) in the corners, move your cursor over one of these handles and hold the left mouse button down. Drag the handle either towards the centre of the graph (makes it smaller) or out away from the centre of the graph (makes it bigger). If there are no handles around your graph, click it once with the left mouse button and they will appear.
Do I need to logon each time I visit the site?
Only if you want to save generated reports or copy data or graphs/charts from the site to your own computer.
Why can’t I compare more than two regions?
Many of the datasets used in this product display multiple variables when displayed in a graph. When you compare 2 regions against each other, you double the amount of lines or columns that the graph displays as compared to when only one area is being graphed. Adding more areas will add more lines/columns to the graph. If the graph has too many lines or columns it can rapidly become difficult to read, particularly on a computer screen. Thus, the decision was made in the interests of visual clarity, to limit the number of areas you can view in one graph to two areas only.
If you wish to produce graphs of the data comparing multiple areas, the data can be freely downloaded from this website for personal analysis.
Can I extract the data behind the graphs and save it to my own computer?
Yes you can do this so that you can manipulate it in, for example, a spreadsheet or database application. The datafile behind the graph will be sent to you in CSV format, zipped up with a text file which contains important information about the data. Click on the CSV Download Data link under the graph.
What is “Unincorporated SA”?
‘Unincorporated SA’ is a term used to describe the regions in South Australia that are not covered by formal council arrangements. Usually these are sparsely populated or remote regions of the state and are not located together but rather are geographically dispersed in various areas of the state. Due to the low populations and minimal governance, the data for these regions is poor and thus aggregated as a kind of ‘remainder’ for the state. Unincorporated SA forms a geographic area at the Local Government Area (LGA) level. For more detail on the various ‘Unincorporated’ regions in South Australia, please refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics publication ‘1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)’.
This aggregation presents some rather important issues for the state government region geographies used on this website. As the state government region level data is presented as an aggregation of Local Government Areas (LGAs), the various Unincorporated Areas, unless expressly indicated otherwise, are not included in their respective state government regions, but are stored separately under the ‘Unincorporated SA’ geography. This must be taken into consideration when using the data for policy and planning decisions.
What happens to the data quality if geographical boundaries change over time?
Since 1998, the Local Government Area (LGA) boundaries in South Australia have been quite stable. However, some changes have occurred during that time and should be remembered when using the data for policy and planning purposes, including the creation of two new geographical areas and the renaming of some LGAs.
The most important change has been the creation of two new LGAs from the ‘Unincorporated Far North’ region. These are the ‘Anangu Pitjantjatjara’ and ‘Maralinga Tjarutja’ Aboriginal Councils, created on July 1st, 2005. This is important for the following reasons:
1. All data prior to July 1st, 2005 will not include these regions as separate data, but will be included in the 'Unincorporated SA' region.
2. Many organisations have not started collecting data for these regions yet, so there may be several data gaps for these regions.
In the most recent update of the Local Government Boundaries (released July 2009), the only change in SA is a small parcel of land transferred from the Marion (C) to Holdfast Bay (C). This should be taken into consideration when analysing data about these areas.
For a full list of geographic changes that have occurred in South Australia, please refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics publication ‘1216.0 - Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)’, Appendix 2 - ‘Changes to Geographical Areas’.
Why do I only see the last few months/years/time periods?
Due to limitations with what can be displayed appropriately on the website, the graphical representations of some datasets have been limited to a selection of the most recent data available. However, if more in-depth data is required, please feel free to download the Excel spreadsheet (.xls) or Comma Separated Values (.csv) files for the data. These files generally contain more comprehensive data than that displayed graphically on the website.
Why isn’t my council area appearing in the data or on the graphs?
Councils with no data collected for a certain indicator will not appear. For more information please contact the relevant Council or Regional Development Board.
What is ‘Other SA’?
When downloading the data files from the website, there may be a ‘geography’ in the data called ‘Other SA’. This geography contains data for SA that otherwise cannot be allocated to a standard geographic region, such as a Local Govt Area, due to limitations on the data or incomplete information but is still located within SA.
For example, many datasets rely on address information provided by an individual, but if this information is incomplete the individual may not be able to be assigned to a geographic area. But they are still part of the South Australian total. The data about this individual will fall within the ‘Other SA’ geography. Also, some persons report their post office box as a home address and these people sometimes are unable to be mapped to a geographic area. Thus, they also fall into the 'Other SA' category.
What is the definition of a South Australian Region? / How did they come about?
In 2006, the former Government Reform Commission drove negotiations with departments across government about creating one set of consistent, uniform regional boundaries for use across government. The 12 new uniform boundaries, the South Australian Government Regions, use local government areas and Australian Bureau of Statistics 'Statistical Local Areas' as a basis.
These uniform regions are being adopted by departments and agencies over a two year period and will be fully in use by mid-2009 (with use of the regions in place in most departments and agencies by December 2008). All South Australian Strategic Plan targets are expected to be monitored against those boundaries.
Many of the datasets used on this website are based on data aggregated from postcode or Statistical Local Area (SLA) level data. In order to maximise the accuracy of the data presented, all business and person level data not already at the Local Government Area (LGA) level is concorded using population concordance files obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Regional Population Unit. The data is presented at the most recent geography available from these concordances.
These concordances are based on the Estimated Resident Population for an area on June 30 for the target year, and based on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) for the financial year beginning July 1 of that year. All data that falls within that financial year is concorded with the corresponding file. For example, all data that falls within the 2005-06 financial year is concorded to the LGA level using the 2005 postcode to LGA concordance.
Due to the delay between the release of the ABS standard geographical classification and the release of these population concordances, some datasets that rely on these concordances may experience a delay in being released at the latest geography. If this happens, the dataset will be clearly identified as being affected and the user will need to take this into consideration before using the data for decision making.
For more information on these concordances, please contact Andrew Howe on (08) 8237 7370.
Do LGA boundaries fully align with South Australian Government Region boundaries?
The data for the South Australian Government Regions (SAGR) for numerous datasets on this website are derived by the aggregation of LGA level data. Whilst most SAGR boundaries align well with LGA boundaries, there are a couple of exceptions. In these cases the aggregation of LGA boundaries matches the SAGR boundaries as closely as possible. When analysing the data please take this into consideration before making any decisions.