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What is Australia’s Best city

Australia’s Best City is the first iteration of the ‘Best Cities Project’ presented by ipData: a research and data firm committed to providing accurate, up-to-date data on a range of topics, particularly surrounding real estate and liveability.

Australia’s Best City was born in the absence of a centralised data platform that compares Australia’s capital cities in an easy-to-understand and frequently updated manner.

The name ‘Australia’s Best City’ aims to highlight the shortcoming of liveability indexes and ‘best city’ surveys, which are based on a fixed construct of indicators that do not always reflect the wants or requirements of the individuals that they are designed to represent.

While several Australian state and city reports are released by government and non-government bodies annually, their use is static, and further independent analysis is often difficult, due to the nature of their reporting.

Australia’s Best City is designed to fulfil the need for a dynamic database that covers a myriad of topics relating to everyday life; from the economy, to climate and entertainment.

It provides the data to cross reference information and draw in-depth, detailed analysis across a range of topics, whether comparing several of Australia’s capital cities, or examining one in particular.

All data presented on Australia’s Best City has been checked for accuracy and is updated on a regular basis. Our research team is constantly working to expand the database to make it more relevant, and to ensure there is always further possibility for research.

Who’s Behind it?

Australia’s Best City is presented by ipData, an Adelaide- and Melbourne-based consulting firm that focuses on urban research and analysis. Research topics range from economic and social demographics to planning and urban development, providing clients the impetus for quality change and economic investment.

As well as the Best Cities Project, ipData has undertaken extensive research in the urban development fields, and uses its expertise in research and consultation to provide turnkey solutions to companies and organisations. For more information on consulting services, visit ipData.

Where does the data come from?

The majority of data collected and analysed comes from public sources, and is extracted from official government reports. Some data also comes from company-commissioned reports or studies undertaken by private bodies, as well as online listing directories.

For each of the facts, a data source is referenced, including the date of the publication and the date that the data was collected. In addition, the fact is given a ‘Data Confidence Rating’ (see below), which rates the reliability of the source.

Surveys

ipData recognises the importance of empirical data in painting a comprehensive picture of Australia’s cities. Because such qualitative data rarely exists, ipData, often under the Australia’s Best City banner, will undertake its own research into fields that aim to capture public opinion or sentiment.

In this way, all users of the database are able to become involved and offer their opinion via surveys and polls. Public responses are used to create facts for the database, as well as in commissioned reports for paying companies and organisations. Users will be offered incentives for their time, and will help to shape policy and company decisions.

Data Confidence

Each fact is given a level of confidence according to its credibility, or whether its source is qualitative or quantitative. Level 5 data is based on official government surveys, while level 1 is based on qualitative data:

••••• Data awarded 5 dots is sourced from official Australian government studies and reports

•••• Data awarded 4 dots is sourced from independent body reports or think tanks

••• Data awarded 3 dots is sourced from private body and company research

•• Data awarded 2 dots is sourced from blogs, listing directories, and manual counts

• Data awarded 1 dot is qualitative research, for example personal opinion polls

Methodology

We do our best to provide unbiased data, and fair and transparent city rankings. While we know that different people will have different opinions regarding which FACTS to include in a category, we ensure that there is no unfair practice or mystery regarding what is included, and what is not.

FACTS are presented in percentages, Australian dollars and numeric values. When numeric values are used, data can also be presented as a standardised number (a rate per population). These standardised values are important for comparison given that larger cities often have an unfair size advantage.

City Rankings

All cities are ranked according to their performance in individual categories. Depending on which category FACTS are assigned to, data are sorted from high to low, or low to high, depending on what is desirable. FACTS that are considered neither good nor bad, or are too sensitive, are excluded from the ranking, meaning they do not affect the overall result. In addition, data sets that are incomplete (for example when data are missing for one or more cities) may also be excluded.

Ranking cities primarily applies data that have been standardised by population, or which have been expressed by a percentage. We also apply some non-standardised data relating to the cost of living, as well as when a FACT has a metropolitan-wide influence. The remaining data is not counted towards city rankings, and is listed separately under Not Ranked / Other in each category.

Ranking cities is an unweighted process. This means that, for each category, cities’ overall ranking is determined by the sum of their ranking in each FACT for that category. In other words, the more times a city comes first, second, etc., will determine how it is ranked overall.

The city which ranks first overall in a category is then given a score of 100, against which all other cities’ performance is benchmarked.

FACTS that fall into the Climate and Environment data have not been ranked, given the subjective nature of what makes a climate or environment ‘ideal’. While there are several FACTS which are invariably rankable, their number is insufficient to score city performance.

Data Confidence

Each fact is given a level of confidence according to its credibility or whether its source is qualitative or quantitative. Level 5 data is based on official government surveys while level 1 is based on qualitative data:

••••• Data awarded 5 dots is sourced from official Australian government studies and reports

•••• Data awarded 4 dots is sourced from independent body reports or think tanks

••• Data awarded 3 dots is sourced from private body and company research

•• Data awarded 2 dots is sourced from blogs, listing directories, and manual counts

• Data awarded 1 dot is qualitative research, for example personal opinion polls

State and city data

In the same way that cities mould their inhabitants, so too do regions define their capitals. Therefore,some data used to rank cities relates to the cities’ respective state or territory.

Especially in circumstances where state data heavily impacts, or is heavily influenced by the capital, those FACTS will be included in categories and the city rankings. Individual FACTS that source state data are indicated as (REGIONAL) in the title.

We understand that for different people, different things are important, so we’re constantly working on ways to make the data relevant for everyone. If you have suggestions on how we sort the data, or think we’ve missed something with regard to content, please get in touch.

How do I use the platform?

Start by comparing the performance of capital cities, browsing by category, or browsing all the facts, which can be saved and used to create a custom report.

Searching and creating a custom report is free to use, and always will be. Australia’s Best City is presented by ipData, which collects all information and makes it easy to understand and use. For more detailed reports on any topic, please contact us to make a request.

Compare and browse facts

Start by comparing the performance of capital cities, browsing by category, or brows all FACTS alphabetically. The ipData research team is continually working to expand the database, so there will always be something new to explore.

Custom Report

A custom report allows you explore which cities you should live in, work in, or visit, by to select the facts that are important or interesting for you, and discover how well each of the cities fared according to your criteria. Searching and creating a custom report is free. To create a custom report, save several facts to ‘My Facts’, log into your profile, and click the ‘create custom report’ button. Only facts that are ranked from low to high, or high to low, can be selected.

Feedback

We understand that for different people, different things are important, so we’re constantly working on ways to make the data relevant for everyone. If you have suggestions on how we sort the data, or would like to suggest a new fact or survey topic, please get in touch.

Australia’s Best City, and parent company ipData, welcomes the use of data compiled on Australia’s Best City in articles and news coverage.

Australia’s Best City is constantly expanding its database, as well as conducting in-depth analysis relating to existing data sets. To be kept in the loop regarding reports, analysis, or new data packs relating to your city, please send an email to Amanda Dunbar (admin@ipdata.com.au) requesting to be added to our mailing list.

We respectfully ask that, when using information sourced from Australia’s Best City, the information is referenced by citing Australia’s Best City website followed by parent company ipData:

www.australiasbestcity.com, presented by ipData”

For further information, please contact Amanda Dunbar, admin@ipdata.com.au, or phone 08 8 7225 2376

Recent News Coverage

The Advertiser, 26 Feb 2014 – Adelaide is not the city of churches after all

The Australian, 26 Feb 2014 – New site puts our cities through paces

NT News, Feb 26, 2014 – Darwin’s a Real Aussie Hot Spot

The Herald Sun, Feb 26, 2014 – Melbourne the gay, not foodie, capital

Nine MSN News, Feb 26, 2014 – Adelaide is the city of sex, not churches

The Sunday Mail, Mar 2, 2014 – State of the State: start-ups flourishing in South Australia

PDFs available for download

Australia’s Best City Style Guide

Australia’s Best City colour logo – Vector

PNG images below.

ABC Logo Greyscale ABC Logo Colour

 

 

 

For more images relating to certain facts, including graphs and photos, please contact us.

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