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2. APRA's future direction for data collection

Last updated: 30 July 2019

The new Data Collection Solution is the beginning of APRA’s new approach to collecting data. As APRA consults with industry on new reporting requirements to meet evolving regulatory needs over the next few years, APRA will take new approaches to data collection. This section outlines the future changes that APRA is considering so that entities can factor these changes into their planning for the transition to the new solution. 

Prepare for future regulatory collections

APRA will continue to consult with industry on new and revised regulatory data collections. These include:

  • Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions: New collection in line with Prudential Standard APS 220 Credit Quality
  • Private Health Insurance: New collection to support the assessment of the Australian Government’s private health insurance reforms 
  • Superannuation: New collection to support enhancements to superannuation data
  • Insurance: New collection to support the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS 17)

The new solution will enable changes to the way the data is collected, such as shifting to structured data sets rather than tabular forms. During consultation with industry, APRA will review the current forms and the best way to structure the collection of data in the future. 

With each new and revised reporting requirement, APRA plans to consult on a move from the historical practice of collecting information scaled to the nearest million or thousand, to collecting whole numbers. APRA adopted this approach with the ADI Economic and Financial Statistics Collection that came into effect in 2019. APRA considers that this change will remove intermediate data processing steps for both reporting entities and for APRA and enable reporting entities to streamline aspects of their data preparation process.  

More granular data to support supervision

The new solution will enable more detailed, granular collections in key risk areas to better inform supervision. This is currently not possible with D2A. For example, APRA outsourced the collection of the National Claims and Policies Database for general insurers due to the limitations of D2A. APRA is currently taking steps in this direction by partnering with ASIC on data collection topics of joint interest, including ASIC’s recurrent data collection pilot of loan level information on residential mortgages

Fit-for-purpose submission channels

With D2A, APRA allowed reporting entities to choose their submission channel – manual entry, XML or XBRL. Even for the most complex reporting requirement, some entities use a manual entry approach. 

The new solution provides APRA with a platform to design future collections using the most appropriate submission method depending on the data required. Simple reporting requirements may still be appropriate as manual or simple submission methods, such as a Microsoft Excel template. However, more complex reporting requirements, and larger data collections would be more appropriate to be reported as data files without any tabular layout. This means that many data collections in the future may no longer be tabular forms and may not have a manual entry option. 

Transition to greater automation of submissions

APRA’s move towards file-based submission formats for larger, detailed reporting requirements is an opportunity for entities to increasingly automate their reporting. This includes using APIs for data submission. Entities may require assistance with this shift and APRA encourages RegTechs to innovate and provide solutions to support entities to meet their reporting obligations in a more automated way which promotes productivity and efficiency gains.