Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Data Exchange In The City Of Light

Q: What’s better than a recent stint in Paris working for the OECD as part of the Business School’s Industry Placement Program?

A: Being invited back last month to attend an important SDMX conference and deliver a presentation on a paper I wrote on that very subject.


For those who may not be aware, SDMX stands for Statistical Data-Metadata Exchange. It’s a relatively new global initiative, by large global organisations and government statistical offices from all around the world, that’s designed to standardise the exchange of data and metadata, reduce global work duplication, and ensure ease of comparability across all industries. It deals with all the statistics they collect, analyse and disseminate, ranging from information on national accounts to trade and economics. The implementation of standardisation of such data will help economists and policy-makers arrive at informed decisions and more accurate policies quicker.


In my paper I examined two key aspects, the first being the business case for SDMX. As a Business School student, I looked at the benefits and impacts of things like reduced work duplication, reduced costs, reduced organisational complexity, and ease of data transfers for both organisations and countries. Secondly, I looked at the openness of data that SDMX can facilitate. This type of global transparency could make data more easily interchangeable between different organisations and render it easily accessible for everyone to utilise. It’s a far more beneficial system than the common approach of having everything housed behind closed doors.



September’s conference was a collaborative opportunity for global organisations to come together and share their experiences thus far with SDMX. It was a chance for countries to showcase what they’ve done and how they’re implementing this standard, as well as to discuss the challenges they’ve encountered. Representing Sydney University at this important event and also being one of the only Australians in attendance was very exciting. 

Author: Mitchell Green, current Bachelor of Commerce (Major in Business Information Systems) student at the University of Sydney Business School

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