Our new data quality filters, called Data Profiles, allow you to filter out incomplete or inconsistent records. This makes it easier to find the data you need.

Since February 2020, we’ve been working with the ALA user community to identify data quality related issues and develop solutions. 

Thank you to everyone who completed our surveys, contributed to our understanding of the baseline perceptions of data quality, helped to prioritise issues, and tested solutions. 

Prioritisation survey results 

After establishing a baseline of data quality perceptions we conducted a prioritisation survey to identify which issues the data quality project would address first. The top two issues identified were: 

  • ALA users accessing data via the ALA without filtering out records that are not fit for their purpose. 
  • Users did not know if records or datasets were suitable for their purpose because quality indicators were not visible. Additionally, many users didn’t understand what the indicators information meant. 

Improvements to data filters 

In response to these issues, the project developed a new capability to pre-filter search results so that lower quality records (e.g. incomplete or inconsistent) are not shown unless they are actively included. 

The filters, called Data Profiles, can be seen in a new user interface element at the top of the search results webpage. 

Data Profiles enable users to access quality data quickly. Filters can be switched on or off and managed as a group or individually. If you’d like more information about the fields and the data that contributes to them, you can mouse-over the text or click the info icons (i).

ALA’s occurrence record search for Acacia dealbata records. The new data quality filters are highlighted by a red box. 

Data Profiles in the ALA

Data Profiles provide a filtered view of data and give a curation capability not previously available to users of the ALA.

“We developed the Data Profiles functionality in response to users identifying data quality as a high priority issue,” said Miles Nicholls, ALA’s Data Quality Project Lead.

“Communities, jurisdictions, and expert groups will be able to develop and publish data profiles, making their expertise in data selection and curation available to the whole ALA user community. Ultimately this means better information will be available to support research, analysis and decision making as well as community engagement with the environment,” said Miles.

Find out more

For more information on the new data filter features, check out these support articles: 

For more information on the project itself, visit the Data Quality project page or contact us at dataquality@ala.org.au