Data Exchange

Our role as an enabler of data sharing in the social sector

We support social sector organisations to improve their data sharing maturity. As part of this work, we encourage and support the uptake of Eightwire's Data Exchange (DX). The platform helps facilitate data sharing practices across the sector that are safe, secure and controlled.

The Data Exchange:

  • provides a safe, secure and controlled cloud-based exchange platform
  • connects organisations in a way that’s easy, consistent and efficient
  • helps frontline staff improve service delivery by providing better information about the people they work with
  • promotes standardised approaches to privacy, data management and data standards.

Success stories

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.

Further development of the platform and its security features followed and from February 2018 onboarding started in earnest, with one new connection to the DX each fortnight.

By March 2021, the Agency had met its target of 42 NGOs connected to the DX and exceeded the target of 10 government agencies connected (15 are connected). This equates to three billion rows of data every month.

From July 2021, contractual arrangements for DX connections transitioned to the technology provider, Eightwire.

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 ExchangeThe 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 cleans, structures and manages the exchange of data.

The Data Exchange automatically collects and delivers 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.

Organisations can also gain the benefit of the exchange with no software installation required using a drag and drop ‘Tile’ feature. 

The platform can handle many ‘agents’ sending lots of data to multiple destinations simultaneouslyFind out more about the DX and Eightwire.(external link)

Information sheets

Connecting DHBs to the Data Exchange [PDF, 236 KB] 

The Social Wellbeing Agency worked closely with four DHBs to set up safe, secure and fast Data Exchange shares with the Ministry of Health. As the government’s response to COVID-19 ramped up in March 2020, the Ministry of Health needed timely information about Intensive Care Unit bed availability. This ensured the Ministry received hourly data on ICU bed availability from nine DHBs, covering over half the country.

About the data exchange [PDF, 256 KB]

The Data Exchange provides a safe, secure and easy method for government and service providers to transfer data, alongside clear guidelines about how data is used.  Using the Data Exchange means evidence based social support decisions can be made sooner, improving service delivery and enhancing people’s lives.

Agencies and providers who are connected to the Data Exchange [PDF, 538 KB]

A network map of live data transfer connections amongst agencies and NGOs. The Data Exchange provides a safe, secure and easy method for government and service providers to transfer data, alongside clear guidelines about how data is used. It enables social support decisions to be made sooner, improving service delivery and enhancing people’s lives.

Data Exchange Use Case - Te Tihi o Ruahine [PDF, 329 KB]

The Data Exchange securely transmits government social sector data from many agencies to the Te Tihi O Ruahine Alliance. Because Te Tihi O Ruahine has safe and reliable access to near real-time information, they are supported to make better service delivery decisions for whānau and community.

Data Exchange Use Case - Department of Corrections and the Salvation Army [PDF, 1016 KB]

The Data Exchange securely transmits housing availability data from multiple providers to the Department of Corrections, in near real-time. Corrections now have easy, reliable access to the planning information they require to deliver and effective community housing referral service.