Data Exchange

The Data Exchange is transforming the way New Zealand’s social sector data is shared. The exchange delivers near real-time feedback loops between agencies and providers. This infrastructure supports insights into system-wide performance, policy settings and the effectiveness of service delivery to vulnerable New Zealanders.

The Data Exchange:

  • Provides a safe, secure and controlled cloud-based exchange between social sector organisations
  • Connects social sector organisations in a way that’s easy, consistent and efficient
  • Helps front-line staff improve service delivery by providing better information about the people they work with
  • Promotes standardised approaches to privacy, data management and data standards.

Our role as the operator of the Data Exchange

We’re accountable and responsible for ensuring the Data Exchange is fit-for-purpose, including managing and monitoring participants and the way it is used.

When authorising organisations to use the Data Exchange, we will ensure that organisations understand their responsibilities when using the Data Exchange to transmit information.

Version 1 is already working

The first 'live' transfer of data across the Data Exchange was successfully tested in December 2016, when anonymised data was transferred between the Ministry of Social Development(external link) and the Methodist Mission Southern(external link).

This confirmed the minimum viable feature set of the exchange to stand-up the core technology, privacy and data sharing components of future versions.

We are now working with a wide range of organisations to connect them to the exchange for a range of uses, with a number of government agencies and NGO's already successfully connected and suggesting more ways in which they can use this"pipe" to help them be more effective.

Control on the exchange

The representatives of each organisation using the Data Exchange retain full control of the data they hold and share with others on the exchange, and can stop sharing at any time.

How the Data Exchange works

The diagram below shows a generic explanation of how the Data Exchange works.

Image of Data Exchange

The Data Exchange platform enables two-way, privacy centric, fully controlled and secure automatic transmission between any two parties connected to the Exchange, in near real-time.

It is a cloud-based platform, which will clean, structure and manage the exchange of data.

The Data Exchange will automatically collect and deliver data to participating NGOs and service providers to support their service delivery, based on configuration settings defined by each participating organisation.

The typical installation relies on a small piece of software (an agent) running on a server in each participant organisation. This software “agent” handles the automated, specific collection of data (using a very strong level of encryption), and sends it to the cloud-based platform, where it’s sent on to the receiving agent.

We can also enable organisations to gain the benefit of the exchange with no software installation required.

The platform can handle many “agents” sending lots of data to multiple destinations simultaneously.

Fact sheets

Check out our Data Exchange fact sheet.


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