Why are there data profiles? 

We have developed data profiles to enable users to more easily find data that is fit for their purpose. The filters were developed  to address the following problems: 

  • Users of the ALA are using data accessed via the ALA without filtering out records that are not fit for purpose. 
  • I don’t know whether to use particular records or data sets for my purpose because quality indicators are not visible, or I don't understand what the information means 

The data profiles can be seen on the search results page in 2 places. Individual filters within the profiles can be adjusted in either area, although the top section provides access to the preset filter profiles (or default sets of filters).

Note: If you navigate to the spatial portal from the search results page, the data profile and any additional filters you apply will automatically be applied in the spatial portal.

What do the data profiles do? 

There are several profiles available, the default profile ALA General profile is designed to exclude lower quality records, while the other profiles fulfil specific needs such as applying the filters used by the Species Distribution Modelling (CSDM) Project or to find records licensed for any use.


Please note the use of the term “lower quality” instead of “low quality”, the filters applied were selected through consultation with the ALA user community, but are not authoritatively the best records for all purposes.  Please consider the data that is most fit for your particular purpose and modify the filters and your query accordingly. There is another article on how to switch off or modify filters.

Data profiles, and any additional filtering you apply, will be applied to the records you download. This means that records excluded by a data profile in your search results will also be excluded from the download.

The section below gives information on each of the data profiles, if you are looking for more general information regarding the profiles, please also take a look a the Data Profiles FAQs. 

What are data profiles?

The data profiles are preset combinations of data quality filters. There are 3 data quality profiles:

  • ALA general
  • Species Distribution Modelling (CSDM)
  • Data licensed for all uses

The ALA General profile will remove from view records identified:

  • with location or spatial issues 
  • as a possible outlier 
  • with unaddressed user questions (assertions)
  • as being created from environmental DNA analysis or are fossils
  • as an absence rather than presence record
  • with the date of the occurrence prior to 1700 or the date given is invalid, for example in the future
  • with issues in the name given for the organism
  • with spatial coordinates that are likely to be inaccurate by 10 kilometres or more 
  • as a duplicate record.

The Species Distribution Modelling (CSDM) profile removes from view records identified:

  • with a spatial issue
  • as a possible outlier 
  • as created prior to 1970
  • as a duplicate record

The Data licensed for all uses profile removes from view records:

  • with a non-commercial use license
  • with licensing at record rather than dataset level as the licensing will vary for each record in the dataset and would need to be individually checked
  • from a small number of datasets where the license has been individually created for the dataset and may not be available for commercial use

The overall data profile can be changed via a drop down list.

There is another article on how to switch off or modify filters.

Clicking on the (i) icon next to the name of the data quality profile will open a dialogue with further information about the profile.