Australian Government Department of Education and TraininguCube 

Frequently asked questions

What is a data cube?

A data cube is a multi-dimensional data structure (typically three or more dimensions) and can be thought of as extensions to the two-dimensional array of a spreadsheet. The cube consists of numeric facts called measures which are categorised by dimensions.

How do I save a custom table?

Customised tables cannot be saved in the browser environment. To retain tabular output, tables need to be exported to Excel. Please refer to the Getting Started tutorial or documentation for assistance with exporting tables.
If you do not have Excel installed, you can use the free Excel Viewer to open and view an Excel file. Microsoft offers Excel Viewer as a free download.

Non-University Higher Education Institutions (NUHEI)

Non-University Higher Education Institutions were formerly referred to as ‘private providers’. Lists of all institutions included in Higher Education Statistics can be found here (yearly from 2010).

What is perturbation?

The data cube does allow customised tables to be produced with cells containing very small counts. To avoid any risk of disseminating identifiable data, a disclosure control technique called input perturbation has been applied to the data, with the exception of grand totals, whereby small random adjustments are made to cell counts. These adjustments (otherwise known as noise) allow for a greater amount of detailed data to be released and, as such, do not significantly impair the utility of the tabular data for use in broad level analysis. However, the relative impact of perturbation is larger for small cell counts, which therefore should be used with caution. Where unperturbed figures are required, users should consult the Higher Education Statistics published on the department’s website.

Are cells with counts of zero perturbed?

Yes and no. Cells with counts of zero before perturbation have no perturbation applied. However, as a result of perturbation other cell counts may have been randomly adjusted down to zero.

What is the source data for the data cube?

The cube data are based on selected higher education micro data collected through the Higher Education Statistics Collections (Student collection and Staff collection). Please refer to the Help menu for more information.

How often will the source data be updated?

The source data will be updated annually, normally in the last quarter of the calendar year.

Will other measures and dimensions be added in the future?

Other measures and dimensions may be added in the future. However, before measures and dimensions are added, careful analysis of tabular output must be made to limit the number of cells with very small counts.

How can I clear the page?

There are several ways to clear the page. When you refresh the page the default table will display (Enrolment count by Citizenship Category [for the latest year]).
  • Click on the Home tab
  • Click F5 or the page Refresh button

If the Year dimension is not selected, which year’s data are displayed?

The default year is the most recent year for which data is available.

Will the same tabular output for any particular table always be the same?

Yes, with the proviso that the dimensions including the number of dimensions for that cube remain the same. Therefore, it doesn’t matter when or who extracts the table, the tabular output will always be the same. However, if more dimensions are added to a cube, the input data will be required to be re-perturbed. Consequently, cell counts may alter, but the grand total for the year will always remain unchanged.

How are tabular output totals added or removed?

Click the Show Grid Total icon (the capital sigma character Σ) in the data cube tool bar to either add totals (if they are not showing) or remove totals (if they are showing).

The page display font is too small, can this be changed?

Yes – by changing the zoom level of your browser. The Accessibility link in the footer describes in detail how to do this.

Are there accessibility services available to help me access and use this website?

Yes. Interpreter and translation services are available as well as a TTY service (text telephone for the hearing impaired). The Accessibility link in the footer provides more detail.