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 government agencies and NGOs to share data at a number of levels
  • Connects social sector agencies in a way that’s easy, consistent and efficient
  • Improves social sector service delivery by giving service providers better information about the people they work with
  • Enables outcomes to be measured informing the development of investment advice for the social sector
  • Supports generic processes around data-build standards, including privacy
  • Supports 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 SIA 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.

Timeline of Data Exchange milestones

Milestone 1 of the Data Exchange was successfully completed in December 2016, when anonymised data was transferred between the Ministry of Social Development 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.

Milestone 2 of the Data Exchange was completed in late 2017 when, following security testing, it achieved independent signoff for its security aspects and was formally authorised to operate with Sensitive information.

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 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 a connecting 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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