In this section:

What is Data.NSW?

Data.NSW is a program of work occurring across NSW government aimed at increasing the safe use of data across NSW government. It will grow and evolve over time.

Data.NSW includes:

  • Platforms, including the CKAN open data portal, spatial data portals, agency data hubs and secure data sharing environments that enable people to find and use data.
  • Policies and guidance that help people to understand the rules around creating and using government data.
  • People who are owners and users of government data, who work together in collaborative forums to safely and effectively use data, and who tell stories about how government is using data to deliver better outcomes.
  • Practices, such as dashboarding, reporting, visualisation and analytics that help government and the community to gain insights from government data.

Why do we need Data.NSW?

Data is a significant asset that can be used across government to deliver better outcomes for the people of NSW.

Every government agency collects data but currently, agencies do not often share their data with other agencies.

Data.NSW provides a safe and secure platform and resources to support agencies to share data with other agencies. Ultimately this will help NSW government to build better products and services for all the community.

What about community concerns with government use of data?

Innovative use of government data is necessary to make government work better for everyone in the NSW community. However this use of data needs to happen with the trust and consent of the NSW community, and with transparency around how government is sharing and using data.

Strong legal controls already exist around government’s sharing of data. Data is anonymised before it is used in data sharing initiatives and data sharing is done to deal with genuine complex issues the NSW community and government is facing.

It is a misconception that personal data is commonly shared across government agencies. Across government, data sharing frameworks are designed to ensure no personal information is shared, unless there is clear consent for this, or unless the NSW Privacy Commissioner has been involved in developing approaches that minimise any public impact.

NSW government is committed to being transparent about the benefits of government data sharing, and any issues caused by government data sharing. The NSW Information and Privacy Commission has a data breach reporting requirement and NSW agencies are encouraged to use this to seek the support of the Commission and to inform the community of any privacy issues caused by government data use.

To drive transparency and openness, NSW government commits to:

  • Communicate clearly about what we are doing with data
  • Be open about how we are managing any risks
  • Track the benefits that come from data sharing and promote good news
  • Provide clear response lines for community concerns about government data use
  • Be very upfront about any problems that occur through government use of data.

If you have any concerns with NSW government’s use of data, please contact us at

What are the benefits of Data.NSW?

Different types of data for different users

  • Open data for the community, industry and government
  • More secure data for government use

Data access

  • A single search environment for NSW data assets
  • Help agencies to find, share and use government data better, to deliver better outcomes for citizens
  • Unified catalogues of data assets, so that NSW government can collectively know what data it holds and can start to leverage the value of this collective asset

Security and audit

  • In shared government use cases, an auditable and accessible record is made of all data sharing actions
  • Data can be shared via secure platform environments, rather than through email, memory sticks or hard drives
  • Clear governance and agreements define the conditions of government data sharing

A strong NSW data community

  • Create a culture of collaboration and information sharing in NSW government, to help deliver better customer service
  • Build privacy by design into NSW government’s data use

Improved efficiencies

  • Reduce time and duplication in data requesting and processing
  • Allow data owners to create standard data sharing agreements to streamline and standardise their data sharing

Who can use it?

Data.NSW is an environment for everyone who wants to use data, and to understand more about using data.

We want the community to engage with our open data, and also our data policies and guidance. We want the community’s feedback on what they want to see in the rules around government’s use of data, what datasets they would like made available, and how they’re making use of government data.

The private sector can also make use of NSW government open data, under the open licensing frameworks that have been applied to this data.

Data.NSW is also for the use of anyone working in government. It’s not just for data specialists, it’s intended to be an environment where everyone in government can start to leverage data to help improve their services, decisions, planning and customer outcomes.

Get involved

Data.NSW is a living program, and it needs you to help it grow and continuously improve and to become the environment that the community and the government need it to be.

You can get involved by: 

  • providing feedback on any part of the Data.NSW content and environment
  • telling us about functionality you’d like to see
  • suggesting guidance you’d like to see and help us write it
  • sharing resources you’ve developed that we can incorporate into Data.NSW
  • contributing data to the Data.NSW data platforms
  • suggesting your work on how you’re using data as a case study
  • collaborating via the discussion forum.


Last updated: 19 June 2019