Getting started in the Data Exchange

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Welcome to the Data Exchange training module – Getting started in the Data Exchange.

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This training module will cover the following items:

  • An overview of the Data Exchange
  • The Data Exchange Protocols
  • Steps to getting started
  • The Data Exchange website
  • Web-based portal home page
  • Priority Requirements
  • Partnership Approach, and
  • Training resources.

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The Data Exchange is the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) approach to programme performance reporting. It includes a simple and easy to use IT system that provides flexible ways to submit performance information to the department.

It covers the majority of client-based programmes in DSS as well as some programmes from the Department of Health and Attorney-General’s Department. The Data Exchange is sometimes abbreviated to DEX.

The Data Exchange Protocols (The Protocols) is a comprehensive guide outlining programme performance requirements in the form of a practical support manual, aiming to achieve a consistent implementation of how data is collected.

It can assist users to integrate their reporting requirements into their existing service and administrative practices. The Protocols is a highly recommended reference document for all organisations.

Find out more about getting started by selecting each step. Once you have viewed all the steps select Next.

Step 1 – AUSkey

Each organisation must have an AUSkey before they can register for the Data Exchange. AUSkey is a secure credential that identifies you when you use participating government online services.

An AUSkey is obtained through the Australian Business Register (ABR) and it is recommended that organisations take into account the time required for an AUSkey to be obtained. The Australian Business Register website provides further information on AUSkey.

Important note: An organisation only requires one AUSkey. However, if there is more than one Data Exchange user they would each require a standard AUSkey (an individual AUSkey certificate). It is recommended that the AUSkey Administrator have the additional users AUSkeys before they organise access to the Data Exchange.

Step 2 – How to submit data

You can choose to submit your data in three different ways: 

  • System-to-system transfer – for organisations that have their own client management system (CMS) capable of pushing data via web services through to DSS can continue using their own case management tools to collect and transfer the data.
  • XML Bulk Upload – for organisations that have their own client management system capable of creating and exporting XML files.
  • Web-based portal – for organisations who do not have their own client management system or if their existing system cannot submit data to the Data Exchange.

Step 3 – User Access Request form

Anyone requesting Administrator access will need to complete a Data Exchange Access Request form and submit this to the Data Exchange helpdesk.  Generally an organisation will need only one Administrator however multiple Administrators can be set up if the organisation desires.  Once the Administrator account has been created, the Administrator can create additional users within the Data Exchange.

Step 4 – Initial Access

If you are accessing the Data Exchange web-based portal for the first time, you will need to complete six account activation steps. The account activation process only needs to be completed once. The six steps are:

  1. Access the web-based portal which is via the Data Exchange website under Login.
  2. Enter your AUSkey details – this includes your AUSkey certificate and password.
  3. Request your activation code – which requires you to enter the same email address that was used  with your AUSkey account.
  4. Enter your activation code – you will be sent this via email.
  5. Finish screen – this will confirm that you have completed the process successfully.
  6. Access the Data Exchange.

Step 5 – Enter data

Now that your organisation Administrator has access to the Data Exchange, they can perform the following:

  • Add additional users – in the Data Exchange web-based portal.
  • Add Administrator users – using the User Access Request form.
  • Structure of your organisation - in the Data Exchange web-based portal.
  • Create outlets and attaching programme activities – this will depend on how you enter data, either using your own client management system or through the web-based portal.
  • Data entry – clients, cases and sessions – again this will depend on how you enter data, either using your own client management system or through the web-based portal.
  • Access reports – all Data Exchange reports can be accessed through the web-based portal.

Step 6 - Reports

There are two reporting periods in the Data Exchange:

  • 1 January – 30th June (with a 30 day close off period) - that is closed on 30th July.
  • 1 July – 31st December (with a 30 day close off period) - that is closed on 30th January.

Once a reporting period has closed (that is on the 30th January and on the 30th July) data for that reporting period will not be able to be submitted to the Department.

Partnership Approach and Standard reports can be viewed at any time.

Let’s have a look at the Data Exchange website.

  • Highlighted are the options to log in to the Data Exchange web-based portal.
  • Select Find training to locate and register for training available about the Data Exchange.
  • Select subscribe to join our mailing list. You will then receive an email notifying you of any news and general updates and/or system notifications.
  • If you wish to contact the Developer Support helpdesk, the Data Exchange System helpdesk or general enquiries; select contact us.
  • We value your opinion, so please use the feedback section.
  • Notifications – all the newest notifications will be listed here.
  • Latest Updates – any changes to the webpage will be accessible through the latest updates.
  • Top 5 Helpful resources will list the five most popular resources on the website.

Let’s now have a closer look at what resources are available on the Data Exchange website. The different selections are About, Policy Guidance, IT Access, Training Resources, Self-Service Reports or Helpdesk. Select each option to learn more about what can be accessed on each page or select Next to continue.

About section

The About section gives you an overview of what the Data Exchange is, the key benefits, the importance of outcomes, the Partnership Approach and reports.

Some of the key resources that can be accessed on this page are:

  • New approach
  • Service type matrix
  • Partnership Approach, and
  • The Protocols.

Policy Guidance section

The Policy Guidance section covers policy, privacy, benchmarking, SCORE and client survey.

Some of the key resources that can be accessed on this page are:

  • Data Exchange Framework
  • Privacy Brochure
  • Benchmarking Discussion Paper
  • Translation Matrix
  • SCORE information, and
  • Client Survey.

IT section

The IT Access section includes information on getting started, the access request form, technical specifications information for both system-to-system and bulk XML upload as well as a frequently asked questions document for technical questions.

Some of the key resources that can be accessed on this page are:

  • Access request form
  • Web services technical specifications (for system to system)
  • Bulk file upload technical specifications, and
  • Frequently asked technical questions.

Training Resources section

The Training Resources section includes material to assist users of the Data Exchange to accurately enter their client, case and session data.

Some of the key resources that can be accessed on this page are:

  • Task cards
  • eLearning modules
  • The Protocols
  • User Access Request form

Self service reports section

The Self service reports section includes information on the different types of reports available.

Some of the key resources that can be accessed on this page are:

  • Overview of using self service reports
  • The Priority Requirements
  • Benchmarking Discussion Paper
  • A Partnership Approach to reporting outcomes.

Helpdesk section

The helpdesk section includes information and contact details for where you can direct your enquiries.

From here you can access:

  • The Data Exchange helpdesk.
  • The Developer Support helpdesk.
  • How to subscribe to the Data Exchange mailing list, and
  • Provide feedback directly to the Data Exchange Helpdesk and/or to the Department of Social Services.

Once you have logged in to the Data Exchange web-based portal, the home page will display. Here you can

  • Find a client and case
  • Add a client, case and session
  • There is the My Organisation area for administrators, and
  • The Access MyDEX reports area to access reports.

Select one of the areas to find out more.

Find a Client area

This is the Find a Client area and for view only access, a user can view all the clients in their organisation. An Administrator or a user with editor access can view, edit or delete clients in their organisation.

Find a Case area

This is the Find a Case area and depending on the Outlets and programme activities that have been assigned to the user, a user with view only access can view cases and sessions attached. An Administrator or a user with editor access can, view edit or delete cases and sessions.

Add a Client area

This is the Add a Client area and those Administrators or users with editor access can add a new client record. A client only needs to be created once within an organisation.

Add a Case area

This is the Add a Case area and Administrators or users with editor access can create cases using the outlets and programme activities that have been assigned to them.

Add a Session area

This is the Add a Session area and Administrators or a user with editor access can create sessions once a client and a case has been created.

My Organisation area

The My Organisation area is only accessible by an organisation’s Administrator. An Administrator can create and manage outlets, add other system users and edit organisation details. For organisations using bulk upload, an Administrator can access reference data files and upload files.

Access MyDEX reports area

All reports are available through Access MyDEX reports. Reports can be exported and also emailed in PDF format.

The Priority Requirements are a small set of data items that allow for an understanding of who is accessing programme activities, how often are they attending, where are they attending and what outcomes are being achieved. In summary, the Priority Requirements reflect the collection of information about:

  • client details
  • case and session details, and
  • client consent to participate in follow-up research.

Once the Priority Requirements data has been entered into the Data Exchange, it is available in the standard reports.

Service providers can choose to report an optional extended data set in exchange for additional reports.

The Partnership Approach:

  • is entirely voluntary
  • it is outcome focused
  • includes information about a client’s presenting needs and circumstances such as the reason for seeking assistance, referrals (in and out), household composition and income status
  • the main focus is reporting information about the outcomes achieved by clients and communities accessing particular funded activities reported via SCORE.

Task cards and eLearning modules are available to assist all users of the Data Exchange. They cover administrator and web-based user functions. Select the icon below to access these.

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This module will discuss the Data Exchange, the Data Exchange Protocols, steps to getting started, the Data Exchange website, web-based portal home page, Priority Requirements, Partnership Approach, and training resources.

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