Wednesday 19 June 2013

Govt to release more Singapore data for personal, business use

By Dylan Loh, Channel NewsAsia, 17 Jun 2013

The government will release more data on Singapore to the public for personal and business use.

The Ministry of Manpower will be launching a new website for employers to tap into data on the local labour market.

The service, which will be free, will allow employers benchmark their firm's performance against industry norms on wages, employment conditions and staff turnover.

Another service, PopulationQuery, will give the public free access to demographic data.

It is a feature built into the existing OneMap platform which can help people make decisions on buying property based on an area's attributes, for example.

Data is currently available for the years 2000, 2010, 2011 and 2012. PopulationQuery will be progressively updated with more census data to show demographic figures by residential or commercial areas.

As Singaporeans become more educated and tech-savvy, government websites are also evolving in tandem; there are currently more than 8,600 publicly-available datasets from more than 60 agencies available online.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: "Our agencies are also actively venturing into serving customers through the mobile and social media spaces. There are currently more than 100 mobile government services available, compared to just about 40 two years ago. In addition, many agencies are now using Facebook and Twitter to seek feedback and obtain ideas from the public."

Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service, said: "We need to recognise that the government does not hold all the answers, whether it is in service delivery or in policy-design. Sometimes the most effective and expedient way to solve a problem is to consult and crowd-source for ideas and solutions."

Find population data on OneMap
Users can find information like age group of residents and housing type
By Irene Tham, The Straits Times, 18 Jun 2013

DETAILED statistics on the island's population were yesterday incorporated into the Singapore Land Authority's (SLA) online map - providing a new research tool for citizens, businesses and academics.

The Population Query service will add 22 data sets to the current OneMap service, including the number of people of a certain age group living in an area and their residence type.

Instead of poring over spreadsheets from the Department of Statistics, users can now tell if a certain location has a high density of children aged up to four - say, for example, if they wanted to set up a childcare centre.

The service is available on the SLA's OneMap website

The new data sets - which also include ethnic group and economic status - come from the Department of Statistics.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the service, saying: "Population Query will be very useful for citizens, businesses and academics.

"If you are thinking of buying a property, you may be interested in the demographics of the area, and at the same time you can see the schools, restaurants as well as property prices in the area - all at one glance."

Mr Tharman was delivering the opening address at the 4th bi-annual eGov Global Exchange 2013 conference held at Marina Bay Sands.

Other search queries include mode of transport, language spoken and religion.

Gelato shop owner Clarence Sim, 27, wished Population Query was available earlier. When setting up his shop in Bedok last year, he relied on anecdotal information of target customers from another shopkeeper nearby.

He said: "Now I can easily find such information displayed in an easy-to-digest way."

The upgrade is part of the SLA's continuous investment in OneMap, which has cost more than $2 million to develop to date.

The free service was launched three years ago to give netizens access to government location data - including land ownership, recently transacted property prices and schools within 1km of a building. To make government data more accessible, a central repository called was launched in June 2011.

This brought together more than 8,000 data sets - from traffic information to census data and unemployment rates - from over 60 government agencies.

The Government plans to release more information to the public in the future.

The Ministry of National Development will be mapping past rental transactions for all public and private properties on OneMap. This will allow users to view the past rental prices of a particular area and, at the same time, the location of the nearest train station before making rental decisions.

"By opening up more of our data, we can proactively crowd-source ideas and co-create applications with the wider community," said Mr Tharman.

In Singapore, more than 100 smartphone apps have been developed using government data.

They include and Carpark@SG using the Land Transport Authority's information on electronic road pricing and carpark availability.

By the end of the year, all data sets on and OneMap will be "machine-readable" - so that app developers can easily extract information to develop new services.

At present, only half of the 8,000 data sets on are machine-readable.

Check how your pay compares - online
By Irene Tham, The Straits Times, 18 Jun 2013

WORKERS fretting over the size of their pay packets will be able to compare them with their peers' using a new government website.

The benchmarking service, which works across industries, is being launched "to help employers and job seekers make better decisions", said the Manpower Ministry.

At the moment, the public cannot make direct pay comparisons but can merely search for reports in PDF or document formats.

The new site, to be ready by next month, asks users to enter their monthly salary and job description.

They then select their industry, age group and the size of their organisation.

This allows them to find out whether their salary is in the top 25, 50 or 75 per cent for their particular group.

Organisations can also use the service to benchmark how they fare against national or industry norms. These could include wages, staff turnover and employment conditions such as flexible hours and annual leave.

Another new interactive feature allows users to look at statistics on national employment, unemployment and economic inactivity. It features comparisons across age groups and over time, with the information displayed in easy-to-digest charts and graphs.

The data for the analysis comes from surveys conducted by the ministry over the years on about 17,000 companies in Singapore.

It includes changes in wages, labour turnover and unemployment issues.

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