Data Discovery

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Data Discovery

Helping users find data

Data Discovery

The ONDC is working with agencies to help them discover their data and develop a standardised list of the data assets they hold.

The ONDC is currently working with 18 Australian Government agencies to develop their data inventories using a standard methodology. The ONDC has a team of data experts, metadata standards and guidance material to assist agencies progress from whatever stage they are at with their data inventory.

Please contact us to express your agency's interest in being involved in the Data Inventory Project.

Chevron diagram outlining the approach for the Data Inventory Project.

Part of our standard methodology involves implementing consistent metadata standards to describe data assets. A set of 26 metadata attributes was developed by the Data Champions Network in 2021, including 10 core attributes which are critical for data management and 16 additional attributes to further support the discovery and use of data assets. The ONDC Metadata Attributes Guide was developed to aid agencies that are considering data inventory uplift work.

The ONDC Metadata Attributes Guide is available for download below.

ONDC Metadata Attributes Guide (PDF)
1175849 KB
ONDC Metadata Attributes Guide (DOCX)
342597 KB

‘You can’t use data if you don’t know it exists’

— Data Availability and Use, Productivity Commission Inquiry Report, 2017

Australian Government Data Catalogue

The ONDC is developing an Australian Government Data Catalogue. Once completed in 2023, the Catalogue will draw on the data inventories to help users find unpublished Australian Government data.

Finding Open Data

Free, open datasets are available at Open data includes the datasets published by Australian, state and territory, and local government agencies, as well as publicly-funded research data and datasets from private institutions that are in the public interest.

Data Discovery Community of Practice

The ONDC has established a Community of Practice for Data Discovery that is hosted on the Data and Digital Professions platform and is accessible to public sector employees with a email address.

We encourage DATA Scheme participants and agencies that are interested in or have completed the Data Inventories Pilot Program to join the Data Discovery Community of Practice by using the following link: ONDC Data Discovery Program - Data and Digital Profession Members' Community.

The Community of Practice is regularly updated with resources to support government agencies to develop, enhance and maintain comprehensive data asset registers and searchable data catalogues. It provides a space for networking, sharing expertise, FAQs and learning from the experiences of other agencies.

Data Inventories Pilot Program Monthly Meetings

Each month, the ONDC hosts meetings for stakeholders of the Data Inventories Pilot Program.

Contact us if you would like more information about these meetings, or to be added to the invite list.

  • June 2023
    • The next meeting will be on 8 June at 10 am AEST. Register here.
  • May 2023
    • Ian Hollins from the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) presentation on their data inventories pilot program – here.
    • Janeen Kirkham from the ONDC presentation on Dataplace – here.
  • April 2023
    • Anna Williams from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) presentation on their data inventories pilot program – here.
    • Margie Smith and Nick Car presentation on the Indigenous Research Data Catalogue – here.
  • March 2023
    • Paul Oakes from the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) presentation on their data inventories pilot program - here.
    • Anne Stevenson from CSIRO presentation on their Data Access Portal - here.
  • February 2023
    • Jo Talbot from IP Australia presentation on their data inventories pilot program - here.
    • Marco Wallenius from National Archives of Australia presentation on eLearning modules to support metadata implementation - here.
  • November 2022
    • Margie Smith from Geoscience Australia (GA) presentation on the GA Data Catalogue – here.
  • October 2022
    • Liz Woods from Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) presentation on Research Data Australia – here.
    • Julia Hinsliff presentation on the APS Data Professions Stream – here.
  • September 2022
    • Tim Beard and Geoffrey Armitage from Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) presentation on their data inventories pilot program – here.

Page last updated: 23 May 2023