Infos now free

October 16th, 2008 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Most people won’t know what Infos is. It was a database supplied by that had all their major data series in and allowed you to query different data series over time etc.

When I worked at Parliament I was a major user of Infos – one of the few that had it installed on my PC. Most people just asked the Parliamentary Library to dig the data up for them. I have missed Infos (and the Library) since I left.

Stats NZ has now made Infos free to the public, as Infoshare. This was actually due to happen in July – it is a pity it has been delayed, but better late than never. Information the Government holds should generally be made freely available to the public (who do not get paid for filling in the surveys in the first place), and it is good to see this happen. I will be using it often.

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9 Responses to “Infos now free”

  1. artemisia (207 comments) says:

    Ah yes, those surveys. They can be a huge burden to the poor surveyed company or person, plus the personal/family surveys are incredibly intrusive (I have heard). I was on their list a few years ago when I was a sole trader. The survey forms were large and complex, largely irrelevant to my little business, and really needed an accountant to complete. I did them myself once the accountant had completed the accounts, and they took hours and hours – hugely stressful. I only got taken off the list in the end because my accountant was always slow to finish my accounts and I had to ring Stats multiple times each year to explain why I could not respond within their timetable. Surely in this information age, Stats could get their information from the databases without putting a large number of businesses and families through a special kind of hell only those who have suffered through this can sympathise with.

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  2. Grant Michael McKenna (1,156 comments) says:

    I’ve been playing with these for a while, and it is great to see them accessible to the general public.

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  3. Dismal Soyanz (58 comments) says:

    Good grief? The whole shebang?

    I think I just had an orgasm….

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  4. Matt Nolan (73 comments) says:

    Very awesome. The more information, and the more transparent the information, the better!

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  5. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    Great. Agree with everything you say about infos, and what you say about making information gathered with tax-payers’ money freely available. Good and freely available information is essential for a healthy democracy.

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  6. labrator (1,744 comments) says:

    @artemisia: How did you get off the list? They seem to come thick and fast.

    information gathered with tax-payers’ money

    Whilst I agree with your point, they’re also paid for by the companies forced to do them losing productive hours!

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  7. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Don’t companies use the info collected too? Just saying.

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  8. duncan_bayne (53 comments) says:

    Huh. I remember using PC-INFOS on school computers back when I was in high school. Christ I’m old.

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  9. artemisia (207 comments) says:

    labrator – it took a while to get off the list. Every time I got a letter asking where the return was (quite a few of these each year), I rang on their 0800 number and politely explained in detail why I could not comply until my accounts were complete. I think they got sick of me in the end. I wasn’t trying to be awkward actually, it was all true. Suspect that my data was going to be out of time for them by the time it was available (I had a slow accountant).

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