Data Exchange

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

The Data Exchange will:

  • Provide a safe, secure and controlled cloud-based exchange between government agencies and NGOs to share data at a number of levels
  • Connect social sector agencies in a way that’s easy, consistent and efficient
  • Improve social sector service delivery by giving service providers better information about the people they work with
  • Enable outcomes to be measured and the development of investment advice for the social sector
  • Support generic processes around data-build standards, including privacy
  • Support a generic identity coding, matching and look-up service to securely share non-anonymised data across the exchange in near real-time.

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 engaging with social sector organisations wanting to use the Data Exchange, we will:

  • give a clear understanding about why data is being used for social investment purposes, including the privacy, human rights and ethical considerations the SIU works within
  • set out the conditions that must be in place to ensure customers know how any data they provide is intended to be used
  • provide details on how this data can be used to improve service delivery, or for research
  • follow agreed approaches, developed in association with social sector organisations.

Prod-1 underway

The first stage of the Data Exchange – Production version 1 (Prod-1) – is underway.

The first ‘live’ data transfer across the exchange – for test purposes only – was successfully completed in December 2016, when anonymised data was transferred between the Ministry of Social Development and the Methodist Mission Southern (external link) .

Prod-1 is a minimum viable product of the exchange. It will stand-up the core technology, privacy and data sharing components of future production versions. This is programmed to be completed in the second half of 2017.

Prod-1 will use existing information sharing agreements and focus on anonymous data. Prod-2 (later in 2017) will move to the sharing of non-anonymised data.

Data Exchange platform

As well as data sharing infrastructure technology – a combination of hardware, software and related services – the ‘Platform’ comprises joining (or 'onboarding'), sharing and using data.

Onboarding includes the necessary standards, policies, processes and tools for using the platform, as well as the rules governing the sharing and use of data.

The SIU is working in partnership with agencies, NGOs and other service providers on the components of the Data Exchange.

Control on the exchange

Each agency/provider using the Data Exchange retains full control of the data they hold and share with others on the exchange.

How the exchange works

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

The Data Exchange manages and maintains the rules around data sharing. Each connected organisation hosts an Agent that is configured and controlled by them.

Image of Data Exchange

Fact sheets

Check out our Data Exchange fact sheet.


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