FAQs and Support

Looking for ideas on how to apply the results from your Origins analysis to your organisation? Want to find out how other organisations have used the Origins information? Want to ask a question or seek assistance. Post your question here and OriginsInfo will answer your question and provide the answer below for others to read.

But I have census data.  How does Origins add value? 

The two key benefits of Origins data compared with census data are 1) that it enables the appending of a cultural origin code to individual records, and 2) that it can be represented and mapped at a smaller level of geography (30-60 households) compared with Statistical Area 1 (SA1 – about 400 people).

Census data uses different indicators of cultural background – notably Country of Birth, Language Spoken at Home and Ancestry.  Each has advantages and limitations.  Origins, as a name origins solution, is a perfectly valid, but different, alternative approach.

Also, OriginsInfo is more up-to-date.  A national file is updated on an annual basis whereas the census data is updated every five years with small area data being released about a year after its collection.  Origins data also utilises settlement data from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to ensure that the base files reflect recent migration streams.

What rate of coverage can I expect from the Origins data? 

We confidently predict that a minimum of 99% of correctly formatted name data will be assigned to one of the 253 Origins CEL codes. More information 

How accurate is the Origins data?

Whilst the exact figure for accuracy differs by cultural group, Origins achieves an overall individual accuracy level that exceeds 85%. More information

What validation processes has the Origins data been through? 

OriginsInfo conducts ongoing extensive analysis to validate outcomes in the use of names as a proxy for cultural background. This includes comparisons, where possible and valid, with the latest census data – both nationally and regionally. More information

Does the Origins data comply with Privacy legislation? 

OriginsInfo is committed to ensuring that individual’s privacy is protected. It requires its clients to sign a code of conduct relating to the ethical use of the Origins data. Advice from the Privacy Commissioner indicates that that analysis of names to assess their likely cultural origin is a legitimate activity and is unlikely to conflict with the spirit or purpose of Australia’s privacy regime. In addition, OriginsInfo adheres to ADMA’s (Australian Direct Marketing Association) Code of Practice. More information here.

Who uses Origins? 

Origins is used by more than 130 organisations worldwide representing a range of public sector and private sector organisations.  In Australia, Canada and the UK, Origins is used extensively in the financial services, emergency services (police, fire and rescue and ambulance), health, telephony, insurance and local government sectors.
More information

How do I create a campaign targeted to key cultural segments? 

Use Origins to analyse your existing customers and work with a communications agency that specialises in multicultural communications and campaign management.

More information


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