New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation – Providing an Interactive Platform for Automated Creation of Regional Reports, Geocoding and Qualtrics Integration over Multiple Domains

Miss Bianca Haux1

1Centre for eResearch, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, b.haux@auckland.ac.nz

The New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation (NZIMD)

Since the 1990s, socio-economic deprivation in New Zealand has been measured by means of combining Census data into a New Zealand Deprivation Index (NZDep). However, as a result of growing connectivity and increasing access to various routine data sets there is an abundance of data available that isn’t included in this measure.

For this purpose, the area-based New Zealand Index of Multiple Deprivation (NZIMD) has been created by grouping 28 indicators of deprivation, including but not limited to the Census 2013, into seven Domains for deprivation: Employment, Income, Crime, Housing, Health, Education, and Geographical Access [1].

The Index of Multiple Deprivation was developed by the IMD team based at Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the School of Population Health: Dr. Daniel John Exeter, Dr. Jinfeng Zhao, Dr. Sue Crengle, Dr. Arier Chi Lun Lee and Michael Browne, with help and support from numerous individuals and organizations.

Making the Data accessible

Accessibility of the NZIMD data is key to reaching the full potential of the information contained in it. In order to make this information helpful, people have to be able to find and extract exactly that part of the data that is relevant to their field of expertise.

Therefore, an Interactive Map and Report website has been developed. It can be used to explore the geography of deprivation and its association with a given health or social outcome over the seven domains or a combination of all. The level of deprivation is colour coded to provide an immediate overview, and a graph highlights the rank of overall deprivation of the selected area as shown in Figure 1. These areas of interest can be chosen either by District Health Board (DHB), General Electoral District (GED), Territorial Authority (TA) or Region. Reports for the respective districts can be created automatically, including more in-depth statistics such as:

  • Chart of proportional distribution of the five deprivation quintiles across all domains.
  • Table of minimum, maximum and median deprivation ranks for data zones with Q5 IMD.
  • Colour coded map visualizations of deprivation distributions for each domain separately.
  • Explanatory text containing ranking and grading into least and most deprived domains in comparison to the overall IMD deprivation.

Automating this process saves a lot of manual labour and makes the reports for each district publicly available to anyone. Intended users for this application include researchers, policy analysts and organisations who are interested in better understanding the socio-economic circumstances of the communities they serve, but is also meant as a tool to provide outreach for the general public.

Geocoding

As part of the Interactive Report website a geocoding function has been implemented for single address search and batch conversion. The single search takes an address as input, highlights the data zone the address belongs to and draws the chart for the respective data zone. The report for that area can then be downloaded.

With the batch conversion, a file containing multiple addresses can be uploaded. The website converts the addresses to the data zone IDs and creates a downloadable file containing the deprivation values for each entry

Figure 1: Interactive NZIMD Report website with the Canterbury Region chosen, chart and geocoding on the left

Qualtrics Integration

The website also provides an API endpoint for users to integrate the geocoding function with their applications and retrieve the deprivation values programmatically. There has been a lot of interest from various people for an integration of such functionality for their Qualtrics surveys, which has prompted the development of a Qualtrics module that allows for anonymization by taking the participant’s address as input and replacing it with the data zone ID and embedding the associated deprivation values in the survey for evaluation purposes.

Tools and links

The Interactive Report Website can be accessed at https://imdmap.auckland.ac.nz.

It is based on R Shiny, uses the Leaflet library and is hosted on a rocker/geospatial Docker container on a NeCTAR instance. Source code for this application will be made publicly available on the Centre for eResearch Github account.

For the Qualtrics module there is an existing open source repository including instructions on how to deploy it on https://github.com/UoA-eResearch/IMD_Qualtrics_Module.

Impact

Primarily, the NZIMD targets social and health research and is used to improve the understanding of service quality on a neighbourhood level, highlight the degree of disparities across population groups and inform agencies. It impacts the approach to policy making and can prompt system change as well as increase the responsiveness and equity of health and social services provision. At the same time, it is the foundation for a more consistent approach to reporting and monitoring the social climate in New Zealand now and in the future.

REFERENCES

  1. Exeter, Daniel John et al. “The New Zealand Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD): A New Suite of Indicators for Social and Health Research in Aotearoa, New Zealand.” Ed. Isil Ergin. PLoS ONE 12.8 (2017): e0181260. PMC. Web. 7 June 2018.

Biography:

Bianca Haux is a Research IT Specialist at the Centre for eResearch, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her background is in computer science with a medical context, including experience in the automation and evaluation of multiple image processing methods. At the Centre for eResearch she enables researchers to develop, use and integrate applications for the visualization of their research data using Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality or webpages to achieve impact and understanding of the research purposes.

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