How can I improve the discoverability of my assets?

1. Do you have an information asset register?

Information is an asset like any other and should be managed accordingly. Your information asset register is a tool to help you mange your information holdings as well as providing a mechanism for you to quickly identify information custodians and which assets have sharing potential.

If you don't already have one, create an information asset register, assign custodians and educate them about their responsibilities. As well as providing your register to the QGCIO as part of the annual ICT profiling standard collection, consider making your register available on your website to make your information holdings visible (and therefore useable) by other agencies.

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2. What impact does quality, security and confidentiality have on the availability of the data?

Part of creating a complete information asset register, is assessing the quality, security and confidentiality of the assets. This assessment should include a number of data characteristics such as security classification, access rights, whether the dataset contains personal information and if the asset has been (or can be) made available via the Open Data Portal. If your assets have data quality issues (such as replication) include this information in your register as well.

Once complete, your information asset register will contain a wealth of information useful both in the everyday management of your information assets, but also as a basis for determining what information you can potentially publish and share. For example, the security classification of information not only determines how it must be stored and transmitted, but is also a factor to consider when sharing and publishing. Likewise, data that contains personal information can be published, once appropriate steps are taken to de-identify the data or obtain consent.

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3. Where does metadata fit in?

Metadata (or data which summarises the basic characteristics of your data) helps with the management, visibility, accessibility and interoperability of government information and services. Like the information asset register, ensuring your agency implements a standard metadata schema will assist you to manage your information assets as well as facilitating information sharing and publishing activities.

Along with publishing your information asset register, making your metadata available, either as part of a whole-of-government initiative or on your agencies website, will increase the visibility of your information holdings and make them more accessible to others.

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4. What about legislation and publishing approval?

There may be general (Public Records Act 2002) or specific (such as the Child Protection Act 1999) legislation or regulations which determine what you can and can't do with your data and information. If you are unsure how or if legislation impacts on your ability to publish or share your data, seek clarification or advice from the relevant person in your agency, such as legal officers, information asset custodians, information security officers, open data officers or RTI/Privacy officers.

You must comply with all relevant legislative requirements as well as with any existing agency delegations and approval processes prior to publishing your data. Depending on the nature of the data in question, there may be numerous options available for you to publish your data.

If you have concerns that legislation is being unreasonably raised as a barrier to information sharing, seek further clarification or advice from the relevant people in your agency or email the Information Strategy and Policy team for additional guidance.

5. What are the options for publishing your data and information?

The information you have collected about your assets will determine if and where they can be published. The Queensland Government is open by default and non-sensitive data should be published to the Open Data Portal unless there is sufficient justification not to do so (e.g. privacy, security, sensitivity). This maximises its value by making it discoverable by any potential user (including those external to government) as a complete dataset.

You may also choose to publish your data, metadata catalogue or your information asset register on your agencies website (once any privacy and security measures have been implemented if required). For those agencies that participate in the ICT profiling program, a list of your information assets will be included in the Information Asset view of the ICT console on the QGCIO website.

The more information you are able to publish, the more opportunities there are to share and re-use across government and other organisations to make every piece of information count.

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6. Are there other ways people might access your data and information?

All of the above options allow you to proactively and routinely make your data and information available by one of the 'push' models preferred under Right to Information and Privacy legislation. However, there may be times when your agency receives more formal requests to access information, such as Right To Information (RTI) or sharing requests. Consult your agencies policies and procedures in relation to these requests in the first instance, or see the resources below for additional guidance.

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Last Reviewed: 10 May 2018