Improving social services with better decision-making begins by analysing available data about people’s lives and wellbeing.

Our analytics team supports the social system’s ability to use data analytics and insights for social sector decision making. Ultimately, we want to empower social service providers and government agencies to understand, decide on and do more of what really works, for better lives.

What is analytics?

Analytics provides one type of evidence to support better decision making. Analytics is the use of computer skills and statistics to draw conclusions from data. We seek to blend analytics with complementary information including qualitative data, science and people’s lived experience.

What can analytics do?

Social sector analytics can help social service providers and government agencies improve:

  • evidence informed decision making
  • service delivery measurement, and
  • develop and enhance innovative social services.

Our tools for technical users

We've produced analytical tools and reusable code for technical users who have access to Stats NZ's Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).
Code, assembly and visualisation tools and user guidance is publicly available on GitHub — an open source, collaborative software development platform and repository.

Available resources include:






IDI measures

IDI definitions library(external link)


Definitions of events and measures in the IDI from our research projects. Compatible with the Dataset Assembly Tool. Gathered together for ease of reuse.

Dataset assembly

Dataset Assembly Tool(external link)

Method and code

Standard tool and process for assembling a range of measures together into a single dataset ready for analysis.

People’s life experience

 Representative timeline modelling(external link)

Method and code

 Constructing cross-sector representative timelines of people's life experience

People’s life experience

 Representative timeline visualisation(external link)

Run code

 Interactive timeline visualisation tool for exploring journey timelines

Wellbeing impacts evaluation

 Benefit to employment transition(external link)

Method and code

 Using linked administrative and survey data to evaluate the wellbeing impacts of transitioning from benefit to employment

Wellbeing impacts evaluation

 Social housing(external link)

Method and code

 Using linked administrative and survey data to evaluate the wellbeing impacts of social housing

 Visit the Social Investment Agency Github(external link) or the Social Wellbeing Github(external link)


Our work with Informatics for Social Services & Wellbeing Data New Zealand

The Social Wellbeing Agency is working with Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland on the Informatics for Social Services & Wellbeing Data New Zealand programme. The programme aims to improve the way New Zealand stores, shares and accesses data to help produce better policy and enhance the delivery of social services.

Primary aims:

  • Improve data standards
  • Promote Māori data sovereignty
  • Develop systems to support access
  • Evaluate synthesising of datasets
  • Explore security and privacy implications
  • Develop machine learning and AI methods

The Social Wellbeing Agency is contributing to systems to support data access, and helping to foster a community of practice across the government sector. The Agency also delivers a symposium annually, to share the ground breaking things people are doing with data and look for future opportunities in the applied data system. The next symposium will be held towards the end of 2022. You can read or watch last year's presentations(external link), including two by the Agency's Simon Anastasiadis on tools built to support analytic and research projects.

This work aligns with the Agency's 2021-2023 Strategy by supporting government agencies to improve their data capability and lead advice across the sector.

For more information, visit Te Rourou Tātaritanga(external link).

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