FAQs in this article:

Other articles that may be useful:

  1. Getting started with the data profiles
  2. How do I know what the data profiles are doing?
  3. How do I turn off or modify the data profiles?
  4. What do I do about my records being filtered out?

Who do I contact about the data profiles?

Please contact dataquality@ala.org.au with any questions regarding the data profiles or visit the Data Quality Project page for more information. 

Why are so many records filtered out? Is there a problem with the data available via the ALA?

The data available via the ALA is provided by many different sources which vary in technological and taxonomic expertise. The ALA welcomes all contributions to the body of occurrence data and as such all records provided to the ALA for public access can be accessed. However, in order to assist users to find records fit for purpose, ALA has applied data quality tests to identify records that may have issues and to filter these out of an initial view of data. 


How did the ALA determine what filters should be applied?

The ALA has worked with a reference group to determine the default set of data quality filters used in the ALA General profile. The reference group included data users from research institutions, Commonwealth and State government and academics working in the field of data analytics. It has included data providers from collecting institutions and citizen science organisations. The ALA was also asked to replicate the filters used by the Species Distribution Modelling (CSDM) community and to provide a filter for finding records able to be used for any purpose by organisations and individuals wanting to reuse data for commercial purposes.


Why is the data I see in the ALA different to other data aggregators?

Different aggregators may be providing access to different datasets or to different versions of datasets. In addition, where they have access to the same data each aggregator runs different processing to incorporate the datasets into their existing holdings and check the data. ALA is actively working with other data providers, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) to standardise processing and checking. See the Core Infrastructure Upgrade project page for more information on this project.


Are the data profiles used in the spatial portal?

If you first perform a search for occurrences and then navigate to viewing the search results in the spatial port, the data profile used in your search will automatically be applied. You can recreate the data profiles in the spatial portal by applying facets, however, for more complex data profiles such as the ALA default, we recommend searching first and navigating to the spatial portal from the results.


Are the data profiles used in the downloads?

What ever filtering has been applied in the ALA tools you have used will be automatically applied to a download from that tool. This means that if you used a data profile when searching and download search results, the resulting download will also exclude records filtered out be the data profile. This happens whether you are using the search results or the spatial portal to identify the occurrence records of interest.