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Term Definition
Agency A Public Service agency as defined by the GSE Act – see also Schedule 1 of the GSE Act.
Cluster The nine groups into which NSW Government departments,  agencies, and state owned corporations are organised to enhance coordination and provision of related services and policy development (This reflects the Machinery of Government changes effective 1st July 2019).
Cluster Data Roadmap High level plans that set out the actions and milestones for each department and agency to align with the NSW Government Data Strategy and their own strategic objectives.
Customer A customer of NSW Government is anyone who lives, works, visits or invests in NSW. Customers include people and businesses who want to or are required to interact with Government, including people serving custodial sentences. The principles of customer service can be applied in the  regulatory environment.
Data Data is a broad term, the definition of which is heavily impacted by context. Data generally refers to facts and figures that can be represented as numbers, text, graphics, sound or video, as well as how these are interpreted. Data can also take different forms e.g. digital, and can pertain to a range of topics or areas e.g. people, systems and the environment. Data can further be broken down by type or purpose, for example transactional and operational data.
Data asset A data asset is a structured collection of data developed for a broad purpose. An enduring data asset (or enduring linked data asset) is a subset of this category, denoting the linkage of a larger range of data that is designed for potentially many purposes and users. An example of this is the NSW Human Services Data Set. A data asset could also include models, methodologies and algorithms.
Data ethics An evaluation of data practices with the potential to adversely impact on people and society – in collection, sharing and use. 
Data life cycle A data life cycle illustrates the stages of data management required over time, from the time of planning and creation to the time that data is either archived or destroyed.
Data set (or dataset) A dataset is an identifiable collection of government-held information or data and associated metadata.
Data sharing The exchange of data between entities. Restrictions and controls imposed are contingent upon the data’s sensitivity and privacy impact.
De-identified data Data that no longer contains, or never included, identifiers about a person, such that their identity is no longer apparent or reasonably ascertainable from the data. Re-identification also needs to be either impossible, or extremely difficult (adapted from the IPC).
Health information

As defined in section 6 of the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) (HRIP Act):

(a) personal information that is information or an opinion about—

(i) the physical or mental health or a disability (at any time) of an individual, or

(ii) an individual’s express wishes about the future provision of health services to him or her, or

(iii) a health service provided, or to be provided, to an individual, or

(b) other personal information collected to provide, or in providing, a health service, or

(c) other personal information about an individual collected in connection with the donation, or intended donation, of an individual’s body parts, organs or body substances, or

(d) other personal information that is genetic information about an individual arising from a health service provided to the individual in a form that is or could be predictive of the health (at any time) of the individual or of a genetic relative of the individual, or

(e) healthcare identifiers,

but does not include health information, or a class of health information or health information contained in a class of documents, that is prescribed as exempt health information for the purposes of this Act generally or for the purposes of specified provisions of this Act.

Indigenous data Indigenous data is information or knowledge, in any format or medium, which is about and may affect Indigenous peoples both collectively and individually.
Indigenous data governance Indigenous Data Governance is the right of Indigenous peoples to autonomously decide what, how and why Indigenous Data are collected, accessed and used. It ensures that data on or about Indigenous peoples reflects their priorities, values, cultures, worldviews and diversity.
Indigenous data sovereignty Indigenous Data Sovereignty is a global movement concerned with the right of Indigenous peoples to govern the creation, collection, ownership and application of their data
Insights Meaningful and actionable findings emerging from processed data, that can be leveraged to optimise decision-making processes.
Internet of Things (IoT) The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical devices that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. It is the global network of infrastructure, vehicles, wearable devices, home appliances, medical technologies and other objects that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and actuators, enabling these ‘things’ to share and exchange data to perform their functions more efficiently and effectively (from NSW IoT Policy Guidance, p.1).
Master data Master data (or reference data) refers to the consistent set of identifiers and attributes that an organisation relies on to provide context for business transactions (e.g., information on customers, employees, locations, products and services).
Metadata Data or information that describes, defines and adds meaning to other data, to support its interpretation.
Open data

Open data is the proactive or on demand release of data or insights for public use, in any form and through any channel, with approval from the data custodian/owner prior to its release. It is provided by Governments for general use to support public sector accountability, encourage innovation and to achieve broad community benefits. 

Open data must have low/negligible data sharing risks with governance frameworks and Open data publishing guidelines in place to manage privacy and safety prior to release. Data owners should provide users with descriptions that outline the definition and context of data to ensure data is correctly understood and interpreted.

Data owners should be aware that open data is able to be used freely and without restrictions. As best practice, open data should have a Creative Commons Attribution Only (CC BY) license.   

Personal information

(or personally identifiable information)

Information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database and whether or not recorded in a material form) about an individual whose identity is apparent or can reasonably be ascertained from the information or opinion (Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIP Act), section 4).
Personal Information Factor (PIF) tool The PIF tool is used to assess the risk of identifying an individual if they are not known to be in the datasets. If an individual is known to be in a dataset, the PIF tool provides a measure of the information that could be gained about them by accessing the dataset. The PIF outputs a score showing the distribution of ‘Row Information Gain’ (RIG) values for records in the data set. The highest value RIG defines the PIF for the data set.
Platform A system or group of technologies.
Sensitive data or information

Per the NSW Government Information Classification, Labelling and Handling Guidelines (2020), sensitive information includes:

  • personal information
  • health information
  • information which could be subject to legal privilege
  • commercial-in-confidence information
  • law enforcement information
  • NSW Cabinet information.
Spend category A spend category is the logical grouping of similar expenditure items or services that have been clearly defined on an organisational level. For example, “information technology” may be considered a spend category covering both IT software and hardware.

Last updated 06 Mar 2024