Steve Mc Eachern Australian Data Archive


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The Australian Data Archive - bringing the 19th and 20th centuries into the 21st
Dr Steve Mc Eachern

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Steve Mc Eachern Australian Data Archive

  1. 1. The Australian Data Archive- bringing the 19th and 20thcenturies into the 21stDr. Steve McEachernDeputy Director, ADAFuture Perfect ConferenceMarch 2012
  2. 2. PresentationOverview1.  About ADA2.  Structure of the ADA3.  ADA Deposit and Ingest4.  Data access5.  Data visualisation6.  Infrastructure7.  Current activities and future directions
  3. 3. 1. About ADA
  4. 4. ADA in Brief •  The Social Science Data Archive (now ADA) was set up in 1981, housed in the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, with a mission to collect and preserve Australian social science data on behalf of the social science research community •  Now includes nodes at University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, University of Western Australia, University of Technology Sydney, with infrastructure provided by the ANU Supercomputer Facility •  The Archive holds some 2400 data sets, including national election studies; public opinion polls; social attitudes surveys. Data holdings are sourced from academic, government and private sectors.
  5. 5. ADA NCRIS/NeAT developmentThe original research community needs identified by the ASSDA Advisory Panel to be addressed by the ASeSS project were as follows:1.  A coherent single point of access for nationally significant social science and associated humanities resources, including access for researchers, students, government bodies, and other external agencies.2.  Reliable access to the major national social surveys.3.  Management of a diverse range of data forms needed to help answer research questions across these different forms: eg: unit record data, qualitative data, economics data, including a high level of data documentation that allows researchers to quickly identify its relevance and quality for research purposes.4.  Easy access to specialised collections, eg: topic based data, such as data relating to ageing; colonial data; indigenous data.5.  Provide fast search across all this data.6.  Easy access to data analysis tools, including the development of advanced analytical and visualisation tools and capability (outside of commercially available products) that provide additional value to the data archives and support the ‘unlocking’ of otherwise inaccessible data sets of national significance.7.  Computational modelling, expertise and resources including computationally expensive statistical packages.
  6. 6. ADA Subarchives•  Social Science – predominantly survey or polling based quantitative social science data•  Historical – an archive of Australian census data tables from 1834 to the present day•  Indigenous – A thematic archive bringing together research data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders•  Longitudinal –major longitudinal cohort and panel surveys of the Australian population•  Qualitative – a new collection which provides specialist data archiving and access services to qualitative researchers•  Crime & Justice – major collections of data in crime, law and justice, including criminal justice administrative data•  International – a central point of access for links to international data sources around the world
  7. 7. Structure of the ADA
  8. 8. Approach•  Core archive website: –•  Sub-archives focussed on specialised thematic or methodological areas -  eg.•  “Add-on” systems for complex analysis or visualisation tasks: –  Nesstar –  GIS: –  Longitudinal visualisation: Panemalia –  Historical census data:
  9. 9. New OAIS architecture
  10. 10. The ADA website
  11. 11. ADA Deposit and Ingest
  12. 12. Data deposit: ADAPT
  13. 13. Archival processingManual system with some automation tools1.  Deposit: –  Review of ADAPT submission –  Storage via ADAPT to file store2.  Data processing: –  File format conversion (usually to SPSS for processing) –  Privacy/confidentiality review –  Data cleaning (in consultation with depositor)3.  Metadata processing: –  DDI-C metadata creation in Nesstar Publisher4.  Publishing: –  Archival storage and access format creation –  Data publication to Nesstar server –  Metadata publication to Nesstar and ADA CMS
  14. 14. Data Access
  15. 15. Finding dataThere are two methods for finding data in the Australian Data Archive:•  Browsing the ADA Data Catalogue•  Searching for data using the ADA search engineSearching or browsing from within one of the ADA subarchives automatically limits the results to data from within that subarchive.
  16. 16. Search results
  17. 17. Browsing the catalogue
  18. 18. The ADA study pageStudy information is available through the tabs at the top of the study:•  Study: information including the investigators, abstract, sample, data collection methods, and access requirements.•  Variables: a list of variables available in a quantitative dataset•  Related Materials: additional documentation, links and other related studies (eg. others in the series) that may interest youThe study page is also the access point for the ADA Nesstar system, for:•  Analysis of quantitative data online,•  Download of data to your own computer.
  19. 19. The ADA Study Page
  20. 20. Data visualisation at ADA
  21. 21. Data visualisation•  Interest in the use of data visualisation methods to explore survey data through web-based tools;•  Used open-source tools and open standards such as the OGC WMS for web maps delivery, and Panemalia parallel coordinates plot software•  GIS capability has had implications for the entire data workflow for archiving of survey data. –  Design of surveys to incorporate the accurate recording of geospatial identifiers, –  Maintaining confidentiality of geo-located respondents information to prevent identification by unauthorised users –  Allowing researchers access to the data in new and powerful ways.•  Longitudinal tool revealed new requirements for metadata, which varies in quality and requires further preprocessing
  22. 22. GIS visualisation
  23. 23. Longitudinal visualisation –parallel coordinate plots
  24. 24. Longitudinal visualisation
  25. 25. Historical Census data
  26. 26. Infrastructure
  27. 27. ADA Infrastructure•  Provided by NCI-ANUSF (National Computational Infrastructure)•  As part of the current project, NCI-ANUSF migrated the Archive data services into its central cloud infrastructure.•  This cloud infrastructure is a high-performance environment as well as providing a wide range of cloud services – from web frameworks to data- intensive analysis to robust archival capability.•  This move has fundamentally changed the way ADA operates and has substantially increased the availability of our services.
  28. 28. Cloudinfrastructure
  29. 29. Current experiences and futuredirections
  30. 30. Where are we now?•  New archive interface:•  New thematic collections (indigenous, crime and justice, historical census, international)•  New methodological collections (longitudinal, qualitative)•  New analytical tools (particularly in visualisation)
  31. 31. Current experiencesIngest and archiving•  DDI provides core of all of our data deposit and archival processes –  Current work occurring for “qualitative” data•  Nesstar and MySQL provides storage foundation•  CMS: Ruby on Rails and Postgres (also used for spatial data)Access•  Access services involve various transformations for data discovery and access•  CMS consumes DDI metadata (via Nesstar)•  Longitudinal and GIS viz systems require further processing: –  ADA’s use of geographic attributes are inconsistent over time –  Longitudinal data management not suited to DDI2/DDI-C
  32. 32. Where to from here?•  Audio-visual (LIEF 2011-12)•  NeCTAR program: Data integration –  Secure data access (administrative data, data linkage) –  Qualitative data documentation and analysis –  Historical/time series spatial analysis –  Geospatial and temporal data integration –  Integration across content types – eg. •  Election results, poll results, candidate surveys •  Census, survey and administrative data on a topic (eg. crime)
  33. 33. Questions or comments? For further information Web: Email: