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Australia’s national agency for information and statistics about health and welfare, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), has implemented SAS Visual Analytics to inform policy decisions on health, welfare and community services.

SAS Australia Managing Director, David Bowie, said the SAS Visual Analytics platform would enable AIHW to analyse large and very complex data sets to provide “authoritative, evidence-based information to government agencies.”

“Collecting, analysing and disseminating this information promotes the health and well-being of the community through a better understanding of the data for policy proposals,” Bowie said.

Bowie said AIHW had recently become accredited as a data integrating authority by the Australian government, along with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, another SAS customer.

According to Bowie, the Australian government requirements for integrating data sets containing sensitive information are very strict, and AIHW was one of only two accredited agencies that can produce detailed information for research and analytical purposes that inform discussions on health, housing and community services policies.

“The new visual analytics capabilities will enable AIHW to be much more immediate in how it enables its analysts to get the information they need in real time, rather than wait for a report that may not even fully address the issues at hand.”

Bowie sad one area in which AIHW was already using visual analytics was in the development of new approaches for presenting decision makers with information about mental health services.

“The agency can quickly and easily produce dashboards with rich visualisations from very complex and rapidly changing data sets and make them available online. AIHW will be extending this capability to other subject areas in the coming months.”

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Peter Dinham

 

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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