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Maintaining records in DataVic

An overview of how to ensure data assets your organisation shares on DataVic remain current and usable.

Why it’s important to maintain data records

Treat your data asset like a living thing. It has a start, a life, and an end point. This means that the data asset should be reviewed at least annually to check that it is current and relevant. The data custodians and data owners can make decisions about updating the data asset and its metadata. 

Maintaining and updating all your data assets is critical to their usefulness to others. Time series data is particularly affected if it is not updated regularly. Sometimes things change and the data collected changes to meet a new policy direction or purpose. In these cases, it is important to include descriptions of the changes in the metadata statement on the VPS Data Directory. It may be necessary to make a new record that makes reference to the previous series.

Please contact DataVic for support about data assets published through the VPS Data Directory. For further assistance with data management and data governance over the life cycle of your data asset, please contact the Victorian Centre for Data Insights.

Reviewing content on DataVic

Run retrospective audits to make sure your content is up to date

Open data publishers can request or run reporting about their data assets through the VPS Data Directory. It is important to check the currency of your publications on at least an annual basis. This supports good data management practices like updates, edits, retirements and archiving.

Please contact DataVic for further assistance.

Keeping datasets current

To make sure data assets on DataVic are current, departments and agencies must manage their published data. This will include timely responses to the creation of new records, adding dataset updates to current records and the retirement of content when appropriate. Review the relevant procedure manuals for a detailed publishing workflow process. For a copy of the procedure manuals or specific support, contact DataVic.

Departments and agencies that provide data on an infrequent basis will need to advise the DataVic operations team of any updates to data using the service desk function when appropriate.

Department and agency specific content reports can be provided. These reports can be scheduled and delivered on any preferred timeline. Contact DataVic to set up a delivery schedule.

Review metadata statement/descriptions of the data asset

The metadata records for your data asset published through the VPS Data Directory onto DataVic must be reviewed at least annually to ensure currency. For certain data assets it may be necessary to do this on a more regular cycle to ensure that the information provided to the public is accurate and useful.

Review the data assets for edits

The data asset may change from time to time. This is particularly important with time series data. It is good data management practice to review your data asset for any changes or modifications at least annually.

Where the data collected in a time series changes, note this in the data description so that users of the data asset are aware and able to adapt their treatments. 

In some cases, changes in the underlying collections may result in the production of a new data asset. When this happens, a new metadata record should be created that identifies the previous data record and outlines the reasons for the modification.

Please contact DataVic for further assistance.

If data assets have changed, make sure the appropriate risk assessments have been completed

Every time you audit an existing data record it is important to check whether any of the risk indicators have changed. For more information, refer to the Conduct a risk assessment section on the Releasing your data under the Open Data program page.

Part of this review process is to assess the data asset for any changes in your organisation’s internal policy and procedures. Where changes are identified, the data record on the VPS Data Directory may require editing. If you are considering removing or modifying a published data asset to reduce the amount of data it appropriately shares with the public, please contact DataVic. In these cases, it is important to make sure that the modifications are in line with the Data Vic Access Policy.

Keeping contacts and contact details current

Just as it is important to keep data assets themselves up to date, it is also critical that the relevant contacts, including their contact details, are also kept up to date.

This includes finding a new contact if someone moves into a different role. A full list of the relevant contacts can be found in the Identifying key contacts in your organisation section of the Publishing on the Open Data Directory page.

Checking in with DataVic

As teams change and different people take on new roles, it’s important to check in with the DataVic team to make sure your systems and data supply methods are the best ones available.

To arrange a meeting, contact DataVic.

Reviewed 05 May 2021

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