case studies

Online Data Validation

Client: The Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN)

Deliverable: Government-to-government data transmission tool


Since 1992, the National Mental Health Strategy has encouraged the development of national outcome standards, as well as systems for assessing whether mental health services are meeting these standards.

Analysis of the large data sets collected from Australian states and territories revealed inconsistencies and errors. The AMHOCN had to undertake a long manual process, working with the various jurisdictions, to resolve these inconsistencies.

A new process of data validation was required to ensure this situation was not repeated.


Online Data Validator

The Online Data Validator is an extensible, web-based application for determining the validity of large data sets. Its development grew out of our strategic advice during the AMHOCN project.

Strategic Data provided (and still provides) the data bureau service responsible for receiving and processing information. In the role of Data Bureau, Strategic Data remains responsible for providing a system and process to enable data receipting and validation to ensure National Outcome and Casemix Collection (NOCC) data security, accountability and quality, and provides a liaison service to the jurisdictions and the other AMHOCN components to resolve data integrity issues.

The project involves:

  • Data dictionary and associated data set specification
  • Receipting, verification and storage of the project data sets
  • Development of the Web Accessible Data Cube, Reports Portal and Decision Support Tool
  • Technical expertise with regard to the AMHOCN data sources to the AMHOCN components
  • Technical support and infrastructure for the AMHOCN website

Strategic Data was able to bring broad contextual understanding, looking beyond the immediate problem to ensure the new platform took into account future requirements.


The AMHOCN and Online Data Validator applications are not just data systems, but strategically designed applications that have weathered ten years of changes in government policy and direction. They are well-constructed, flexible applications that have been demonstrated to adapt to the department’s evolving requirements.

The value of the Online Data Validator is that very large data sets – such as health records – can be efficiently and effectively examined for validity prior to acceptance. This reduces errors, lowers costs, and improves the accuracy and effectiveness of subsequent reporting and decision making.

The next level provides reports on data inconsistencies which the ‘receiver’ can review and work through with the ‘submitter’ – all through the validation tool so the decisions are recorded.
Our partnership continues.