Select Page

Research digital skills training 2021

New analytics tools for workload planning for the 2018 New Zealand Census

Associate Professor Andrew Mason, Engineering Science; Geoff Leyland, Incremental Ltd.; Chris Hodgins, John Crequer, Craig Lange, Hayley Gargiulo, Philippa Sowman and Chris Deake, Statistics New Zealand

Home • Projects • New analytics tools for workload planning for the 2018 New Zealand Census
Meshblocks in the Auckland Region

Background

New Zealand’s next census will take place in March 2018. The census is an official count of all the people and dwellings in New Zealand, and will involve around two-and-a-half-thousand field officers and cover almost two million households. This is a large field operation with officers observing or visiting every dwelling in the country at least once. The operation confirms the locations of known dwellings and identifies new ones to ensure that Statistics New Zealand’s address list is up-to-date.

New Zealand is divided into around 53,000 areas called “meshblocks”. Each meshblock contains roughly the same number of dwellings. The census involves a field officer visiting every dwelling in each meshblock. Additional work may include following up with non-respondents after the census day.

For the first time in New Zealand, the census will use the internet as the primary mode of response. The operation will cover the same geographical area as in previous censuses, but with fewer field officers working across the country. Fieldwork has already begun for the 2018 Census. Over 80% of dwellings were visited between June and August 2017 by a team of over two hundred field officers as part of an operation called “Address Canvassing”. By the time the census gets underway in March 2018, every dwelling in the country will have been observed or visited by one of the teams of field officers, building the most up-to-date record of where people in New Zealand live. In the weeks following the census, households that have not responded will be visited by another team to encourage response in order to ensure the quality of the census findings.

 

The workload planning tools

Proper planning is critical for efficient census fieldwork. A team consisting of specialists from Statistics New Zealand, Incremental Ltd., and the University of Auckland is building fieldwork planning tools that enable the right officers to go to the right places at the right time. These planning tools form part of a case management system at Statistics NZ which is integrated with mobile devices being used by field officers. The planning tools communicate with these devices to receive information on work that has been completed each day, and to deliver the next day’s plans to field officers. These plans are built using new optimization algorithms developed for this project. The algorithms are dynamic in that new plans are developed each night that respond to the actual work completion rates across field officers.
Planning largely relies on geographical information: the boundaries of the meshblocks; the underlying road network and how it interacts with the meshblocks; the locations of dwellings within the meshblocks; boundaries of area units, and population centres. These are all used to define what needs to happen as part of the census.

Meshblock-based work in Wellington
Dwelling-based work in Christchurch

Application and methodology

Our tools introduce a range of improvements over previous census operations. One of the key innovations in our census tools is the use of a road-network model, and its integration with the meshblock and dwelling models, in order to take actual road distances into account when planning the work. The need to explicitly visit every road in NZ means that the OpenStreetMap data we are using is being tested in ways that are almost certainly new. We have made multiple improvements to the OpenStreetMap maps to fix data errors we have found.
Previous censuses relied on complex GIS processing to determine pairs of meshblocks that share a common boundary, but should not be grouped together because they were separated by geographic features such as rivers and mountain ranges. This processing has been improved and simplified by using new algorithms based on our road network. If a river or mountain range is impassable, there will be no road joining a meshblock pair. If there is a road, then the river or range is passable, and so the meshblocks should be the candidates for grouping together.

New tools require careful testing. All our algorithms have been embedded in detailed simulations, which are tightly coupled with a suite of new visualisation tools. These visualisations have proven invaluable in evaluating and improving the approaches we have developed, and in giving the team confidence that our new algorithms and tools will help lead to a successful 2018 Census Operation.

See more case study projects

Data maturity project in High Value Nutrition, National Science Challenge

Data maturity project in High Value Nutrition, National Science Challenge

Haka on the move: sport circuits and cultural performance 

Haka on the move: sport circuits and cultural performance 

Proteins under a computational microscope: designing in-silico strategies to understand and develop molecular functionalities in Life Sciences and Engineering

Proteins under a computational microscope: designing in-silico strategies to understand and develop molecular functionalities in Life Sciences and Engineering

Remote temperature monitoring to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Remote temperature monitoring to reduce the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 exponential growth visualisation

COVID-19 exponential growth visualisation

Developing virtual capabilities for the Science Payload Operations Centre

Developing virtual capabilities for the Science Payload Operations Centre

Hosting visualisation and analytics tools for COVID-19 studies

Hosting visualisation and analytics tools for COVID-19 studies

Exploring perceptions towards climate change over time on Twitter

Exploring perceptions towards climate change over time on Twitter

Coastal image classification and nalysis based on convolutional neural betworks and pattern recognition

Coastal image classification and nalysis based on convolutional neural betworks and pattern recognition

Calcium signalling in salivary gland acinar cells

Calcium signalling in salivary gland acinar cells

Anti-corruption regulations for promoting socially responsible practices

Anti-corruption regulations for promoting socially responsible practices

Determinants of translation efficiency in the evolutionarily-divergent protist Trichomonas vaginalis

Determinants of translation efficiency in the evolutionarily-divergent protist Trichomonas vaginalis

Analysing text data by time-series feature engineering

Analysing text data by time-series feature engineering

An investigation into Leap Motion device for “gesture-as-sign”

An investigation into Leap Motion device for “gesture-as-sign”

Antibiotic resistance and the “end of modern medicine ”

Antibiotic resistance and the “end of modern medicine ”

Develop short-term eruption warning systems for Whakaari and other volcanoes

Develop short-term eruption warning systems for Whakaari and other volcanoes

Evenly spaced observation fields from irregularly sampled data in the Southern Ocean

Evenly spaced observation fields from irregularly sampled data in the Southern Ocean

Measuring impact of entrepreneurship activities on students’ mindset, capabilities and entrepreneurial intentions

Measuring impact of entrepreneurship activities on students’ mindset, capabilities and entrepreneurial intentions

Using Zebra Finch data and deep learning classification to identify individual bird calls from audio recordings

Using Zebra Finch data and deep learning classification to identify individual bird calls from audio recordings

NETwork! analysis in cancer – managing genomics research data and building a repository workflow

NETwork! analysis in cancer – managing genomics research data and building a repository workflow

The Coronary Atlas – data processing workflow optimisation

The Coronary Atlas – data processing workflow optimisation

3D visualisation of indigenous burial site in Roonka

3D visualisation of indigenous burial site in Roonka

Automated measurement of intracranial cerebrospinal fluid volume and outcome after endovascular thrombectomy for ischemic stroke

Automated measurement of intracranial cerebrospinal fluid volume and outcome after endovascular thrombectomy for ischemic stroke

A new ‘stratigraphy’: interpreting object relationships with 3D point densities

A new ‘stratigraphy’: interpreting object relationships with 3D point densities

Towards the use of deep learning techniques for storm surge prediction

Towards the use of deep learning techniques for storm surge prediction

Using simple models to explore complex dynamics: A case study of macomona liliana (wedge-shell) and nutrient variations

Using simple models to explore complex dynamics: A case study of macomona liliana (wedge-shell) and nutrient variations

Development of Machine Learning methodology for genomic research

Development of Machine Learning methodology for genomic research

An Archaeological database for threatened North Island rock art in New Zealand

An Archaeological database for threatened North Island rock art in New Zealand

Presence: distributed mixed reality learning environment

Presence: distributed mixed reality learning environment

Digital video and the early learning lab

Digital video and the early learning lab

Publishing the Bay of Island Bottlenose dolphin catalogue

Publishing the Bay of Island Bottlenose dolphin catalogue

Modelling the diurnal cycle* of winds and clouds

Modelling the diurnal cycle* of winds and clouds

Presence: distributed mixed reality learning environment

Presence: distributed mixed reality learning environment

Using research virtual machines to analyse fMRI datasets

Using research virtual machines to analyse fMRI datasets

Genomic Virtual Lab (GVL) as a bioinformatics training platform

Genomic Virtual Lab (GVL) as a bioinformatics training platform

SwiftLaTeX- Exploring web-based true WYSIWYG editing for digital publishing

SwiftLaTeX- Exploring web-based true WYSIWYG editing for digital publishing

Climate change impacts on weather-related hazards

Climate change impacts on weather-related hazards

Understanding tumour evolution through augmented reality

Understanding tumour evolution through augmented reality

Myocardial motion tracking and strain calculation using Deep Learning networks

Myocardial motion tracking and strain calculation using Deep Learning networks

OnTask pilot at the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education

OnTask pilot at the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education

Visualising the University campus in 3D

Visualising the University campus in 3D

Visualising protein interaction

Visualising protein interaction

Biological heritage National Science Challenge eDNA virtual hub

Biological heritage National Science Challenge eDNA virtual hub

Interactive AR art – Project Gordon

Interactive AR art – Project Gordon

1-D numerical models of post-glacial river evolution

1-D numerical models of post-glacial river evolution

Mathematically modelling gastrointestinal electrical activity

Mathematically modelling gastrointestinal electrical activity

3D Cryo-EM reconstructions of macromolecular complexes

3D Cryo-EM reconstructions of macromolecular complexes

Engine knock in a spark-ignition engine with hydrogen supplementation

Engine knock in a spark-ignition engine with hydrogen supplementation

The complex unsteady flow within a fluid-filled annulus and its transition to turbulence

The complex unsteady flow within a fluid-filled annulus and its transition to turbulence

Using data mining for digital ink recognition

Using data mining for digital ink recognition

The landscape costs of brushtail possum dispersal

The landscape costs of brushtail possum dispersal

Accelerating the discovery of natural products made by orphan megasynthases

Accelerating the discovery of natural products made by orphan megasynthases

Improving the short term precipitation forecasts for New Zealand

Improving the short term precipitation forecasts for New Zealand

Finding genetic variants responsible  for human disease hiding in the universe of benign variants

Finding genetic variants responsible for human disease hiding in the universe of benign variants

Revealing key processes in enzyme efficiency through high performance computing

Revealing key processes in enzyme efficiency through high performance computing

3D Electromagnetic modeling and simulation using heterogeneous computing

3D Electromagnetic modeling and simulation using heterogeneous computing

Hemodynamics in the microcirculation

Hemodynamics in the microcirculation

Putting turbulence to work

Putting turbulence to work

Why are some molecules drugs?

Why are some molecules drugs?

Bayesian additive regression trees  vs logistic regression – estimation of propensity scores

Bayesian additive regression trees vs logistic regression – estimation of propensity scores

Fully coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical modelling of permeability enhancement by the finite element method

Fully coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical modelling of permeability enhancement by the finite element method

Modelling dispersal and ecological competition in a statistical phylogeographic framework

Modelling dispersal and ecological competition in a statistical phylogeographic framework

Studying the shape and the size of the universe

Studying the shape and the size of the universe

Planet hunting

Planet hunting

Simulating quantum mechanics on high performance computing cluster

Simulating quantum mechanics on high performance computing cluster

Multiscale modelling of saliva secretion

Multiscale modelling of saliva secretion

Modelling dual reflux pressure swing adsorption (DR-PSA) units for gas separation in natural gas processing

Modelling dual reflux pressure swing adsorption (DR-PSA) units for gas separation in natural gas processing

Improving the treatment of heart disease

Improving the treatment of heart disease

Estimating migration rates in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Estimating migration rates in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Number theoretic algorithms in cryptography

Number theoretic algorithms in cryptography

Molecular phylogenetics uses genetic data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of individuals, populations or species

Molecular phylogenetics uses genetic data to reconstruct the evolutionary history of individuals, populations or species

Phylogeny and phylogeography of the family kyphosidae (Perciformes: teleostei)

Phylogeny and phylogeography of the family kyphosidae (Perciformes: teleostei)

Testing what cosmic inflation really predicts

Testing what cosmic inflation really predicts

Multigene environmental DNA data analysis for New Zealand genomic observatory

Multigene environmental DNA data analysis for New Zealand genomic observatory

Finding genetic variants responsible for human disease hiding in universe of benign variants

Finding genetic variants responsible for human disease hiding in universe of benign variants

BEAST, Bayesian evolutionary analysis sampling trees

BEAST, Bayesian evolutionary analysis sampling trees

The formation of surface archaeological deposits in arid Australia

The formation of surface archaeological deposits in arid Australia

Statistical modelling of carryover effects after cessation of treatments

Statistical modelling of carryover effects after cessation of treatments

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy of protein complexes and machines

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy of protein complexes and machines

ARCI, archaeology eResearch collaboration initiative

ARCI, archaeology eResearch collaboration initiative

Optimisation of blades on large wind turbines with individual pitch control and trailing edge flaps

Optimisation of blades on large wind turbines with individual pitch control and trailing edge flaps

Quality of care and outcomes in children with cleft lip and/or palate

Quality of care and outcomes in children with cleft lip and/or palate

Geographic and temporal information retrieval on massive document collections

Geographic and temporal information retrieval on massive document collections

Homodynamics in the microcirculation

Homodynamics in the microcirculation

Processing structure-from-motion photogrammetry on the cluster

Processing structure-from-motion photogrammetry on the cluster

Computational investigation of catalysis mechanisms for polyurethane synthesis

Computational investigation of catalysis mechanisms for polyurethane synthesis

Virtual childhood obesity prevention laboratory

Virtual childhood obesity prevention laboratory

Giving Pacific research greater reach

Giving Pacific research greater reach

Development of novel waveguides  in the terahertz (THz) region

Development of novel waveguides in the terahertz (THz) region

Modelling of costs of diets  by INFORMAS

Modelling of costs of diets by INFORMAS

Foodback

Foodback

Finite element method code for  modelling biological cells

Finite element method code for modelling biological cells

The future of memory: Neuroimaging memory and imagination with functional MRI

The future of memory: Neuroimaging memory and imagination with functional MRI

Modelling and visualisation of calcium waves in parotid acinar cells

Modelling and visualisation of calcium waves in parotid acinar cells

Mapping donor contributions in the Pacific

Mapping donor contributions in the Pacific

Visualising humpback whale migration

Visualising humpback whale migration

Visualising the 2010 and 2011  Canterbury earthquakes

Visualising the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes

Data management planning for MOA*

Data management planning for MOA*

Research data publishing  and preservation at COMPASS

Research data publishing and preservation at COMPASS

Centre for eResearch machine learning service

Centre for eResearch machine learning service

Building a discrete global  grid gazetteer service

Building a discrete global grid gazetteer service

The new Wanhal catalogue

The new Wanhal catalogue

Passive acoustic modelling

Passive acoustic modelling

Using GPUs to expand our understanding of the Solar System

Using GPUs to expand our understanding of the Solar System

Shedding new light on dark matter

Shedding new light on dark matter

Aerodynamics modelling paves the way for improved yacht designs

Aerodynamics modelling paves the way for improved yacht designs

Modernising models to help diagnose or treat disease and injury

Modernising models to help diagnose or treat disease and injury

Wandering around the molecular landscape: embracing virtual reality as a research showcasing outreach and teaching tool

Wandering around the molecular landscape: embracing virtual reality as a research showcasing outreach and teaching tool

ALTER: Between human and nonhuman – a VR art exhibition

ALTER: Between human and nonhuman – a VR art exhibition

Disposition of Microsoft HoloLenses for a Pop-Up Reality Shop to demonstrate the progress of a research project

Disposition of Microsoft HoloLenses for a Pop-Up Reality Shop to demonstrate the progress of a research project

Improving diagnosis for schistosomiasis by using the ‘metabolic footprint’ of urine samples from an animal model of Schistosoma infection to identify possible biomarkers

Improving diagnosis for schistosomiasis by using the ‘metabolic footprint’ of urine samples from an animal model of Schistosoma infection to identify possible biomarkers

Making stroke recovery prediction tools freely available

Making stroke recovery prediction tools freely available

MFT-ICR mass spectrometry data management and analysis workflow

MFT-ICR mass spectrometry data management and analysis workflow

Taking a ‘Big Data’ approach to find new clinical-omic associations in cancer

Taking a ‘Big Data’ approach to find new clinical-omic associations in cancer

Growing Up in New Zealand

Growing Up in New Zealand

Improving arrival time predictions for vehicles in a public transport network

Improving arrival time predictions for vehicles in a public transport network

Distributed and cloud-based control at field-level for systems interacting with soft bodies

Distributed and cloud-based control at field-level for systems interacting with soft bodies

Mobile Click Fraud Attack (MCFA)

Mobile Click Fraud Attack (MCFA)

Skin-omics: exploring the volatile organic compounds on human skin

Skin-omics: exploring the volatile organic compounds on human skin

New analytics tools for workload planning for the 2018 New Zealand Census

New analytics tools for workload planning for the 2018 New Zealand Census

Visualising the New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation

Visualising the New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation