National Disability Data Asset – Humanising data for an inclusive future


The National Disability Data Asset pilot is designing a way to de-identify and link all available disability community data across jurisdictions. Helping facilitate better, evidence-based decisions.

Through design, collaboration and prototyping with community and policy-makers we redefined how to ensure decisions are based on data, without treating people like statistics.

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  • Creating better outcomes for people living with disabilities is complex. Some support pathways succeed, while others don't. It's not always apparent why. The challenge the NDDA pilot faced was to identify how to help policy-makers, advocates, and people living with disabilities make informed decisions. Existing thinking was to create a single source of truth. To tell people which pathways lead to which outcomes. Letting data dictate the right answer for every situation. Our brief was to help individuals and policy-makers choose which pathways worked, informed by data-driven insights. Less wasted effort. Better outcomes for people living with disability.

  • Over 14 weeks, we worked alongside NDDA's team - prototyping and testing with policy-makers, advocacy groups, and individuals. Through testing, we discovered the underlying assumption was false. People don't want to be told which support pathway is best. The right answer is entirely dependent on their context. This powerful insight pivoted existing thinking - allowing us to focus on the true need. Helping people explore data themselves. Make their own connections. Bring their own expertise. Reach their own conclusions. This held true across all user groups, from policy-makers to the public. Allowing us to define a single solution for all.

  • Defining a clear strategy through to pilot, delivered real change - for policy-makers, individuals, and the wider organization. For policy-makers. More informed, evidence-based decisions by utilising linked data. Explore disparate stories and stats across education, employment, justice, housing, social support to drive better outcomes for people living with disabilities. For people living with disabilities. Better policy decisions lead to better support services. Better support leads to radically improved lives for individuals and carers. For the NDDA . Created the momentum needed for real change. The design processes/tools used on this project are now embedded in the fledgling NDDA team.

  • NDDA's strategy is built around empowering everyone to make better use of data. Only when data can be explored and understood by non-experts can it truly become powerful. To do this, data must be; Accessible. We consolidated data sets from across government sectors and platforms into a single location. With a simple view to explore insights. Relevant. Data is meaningless if it's too broad, or too specific. We allowed people to filter data-sets by location, demographic, outcome, disability, and timeframe Human. Statistics describe real people. We augmented the numbers with real-world human stories - to connect decision-makers to the true impact of their choices. Safe. Without context, data can do real damage. Comparisons, quality indicators, and clear sourcing provide safeguards against misinterpretations, false comparisons, or generalizations. Actionable. People don't just want to access data. They want to use it. The ability to revisit, share, and build upon insights ensures data leads to real outcomes. "This platform and tool will be really useful for decision-makers all around the country when they are trying to make sure the valuable dollars that they have go to exactly the people that need it." - NDDA pilot Stakeholder.