Surfing with Ed on the Internet

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by Ed Swires-Hennessy, Welsh Office

This month forget the cold outside and take a trip on the net to Australia ( http://www.abs.gov.au ). The home page is not too cluttered with graphics and responds very quickly. Unfortunately the home page is actually a page and a half! Into the statistics themselves and two features are appealing.

First the data available on Australia in brief which gives 160 tables of summarised data selected by an alphabetical list of topics (which, unnecessarily stretches over two pages). Selecting a topic gives a sub-list of tables to choose from. It is a pity that the data cannot be cut and copied into other windows products: a simple table copied badly into three A4 pages.

Secondly, the table of Key National Indicators first indicates to the user that the data are updated as soon as new information becomes available: the data are well presented (though again not easily copied and used) and include a button for each series to get more information on the data.