While integrated data is a powerful tool for research, it tends to be a complex environment for analysis. To accelerate our research projects, the team at the Social Wellbeing Agency uses an approach that maximises reuse of previous work.
As part of this approach our data scientists regularly extract definitions from each completed project and gather them together in a library. Each definition in the library contains the code required to create a single concept (such as income, study enrolment, or a hospital visit). By assembling definitions together, analytic staff can quickly produce a research-ready dataset.
We have been building our library for the last two years. This month it reached 100 distinct definitions. Our most recent additions include 6 measures of physical health and 8 measures of mental health.
Development of the library has been supported byTe Rourou Tātaritanga(external link), Informatics for Social Services and Wellbeing, and has included work with Nicholson Consulting(external link). The collation of our library is aligned with work led by Stats NZ and MBIE to build code modules – community endorsed and reviewed definitions.
A version of our library can be found within the data lab. Researchers wanting to access the most recent version should check our GitHub page(external link).