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NSW Better Outcomes Lab

The NSW Better Outcomes Lab (BOL) makes it easier to access and use joined-up data for decision-making that improves the outcomes of people and communities.  

A cross-agency initiative led by the NSW Department of Customer Service and in close collaboration with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, the NSW Better Outcomes Lab enables: 

  • increased availability of joined-up data and insights 
  • faster, cheaper, easier and safer access to joined-up data and insights and enhanced ability to use them 
  • customer-centred insights from analysis of joined-up data assets 
  • application of data-driven insights in decision-making 

Joined-up data enables government to see beyond passengers, patients, parents and prisoners to more holistically understand the needs and outcomes of the people and communities it serves. The NSW Better Outcomes Lab only uses de-identified data, that is, the data contains no names, addresses, contact information or other personal information. 

The Lab enables government to: 

  • understand ‘what works’ 
  • prioritise investment 
  • complement crisis services with prevention support 

A ‘build once, use often’ suite of five products and services make it easier, faster, safer and more cost-effective to access and analyse joined-up data. 


  1. The NSW Data Passport is a data access application system that uses the ‘5 safes’ approach to recognise ‘safe users’ and ‘safe projects’. It provides a transparent and streamlined approach to managing data requests. It can be accessed here: 
  2. The NSW Linked Data Capability Hub is a gateway to the Lab’s products and services. It contains self-service tools and resources, such as reusable code and indicators, to build user capability with joined-up data. 
    Metadata.NSW is one such tool. It makes it easier to find and understand joined-up datasets. It enables user to create and discover metadata. It can be accessed here:


  1. The NSW Journey Lab is a set of easy to use and visually-appealing dashboards that put curated insights directly into the hands of decision-makers. Journey Lab insights span early childhood, homelessness and human services. Access to the Journey Labs is via the NSW Data Passport. 
  2. The NSW Pathways Analytics is an advanced analytics service that translates raw joined-up data into tailored insights to support policy making and program design.  
  3. The NSW Evaluation DataLab is a service to quickly, efficiently and independently estimate where a program is working. It uses quasi-experimental approaches to compare program outcomes against population benchmarks. It produces evidence that is rigorous, fast, cost-effective and updateable. 

To find out more, please contact 

Last updated 07 Sep 2023