The Data Discovery Tool

The Data Discovery Tool

The Data Discovery Tool is an interactive data dashboard that brings together community legal centres (CLCs) and Victoria Legal Aid administrative service data, legal need indicators and population level demographic data in an accessible and easy-to-use tool. The resource has been developed to support data-informed service planning for CLCs and Victoria Legal Aid, responding to key principles of Victoria Legal Aid’s Strategy 22:

  • impact – using evidence to inform how services are planned and delivered
  • together – working collaboratively with partners.

Key drivers

The Victorian legal assistance sector is moving towards a more sophisticated and evidence-informed understanding of legal need. Increased data capacity and better data resources are key to supporting better understanding of service gaps, ensuring finite resources are directed to where they are most needed and making sure different parts of the service system work effectively together to meet the needs of priority clients.  

Access to justice reviews by the Productivity Commission and Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation found significant gaps in system-wide legal needs data and evidence-based legal service planning. Victoria Legal Aid's Sector Planning project initiated in 2017, saw the development of a legal needs model and collaborative planning process which form the foundations of the Data Discovery Tool.

The model

The Data Discovery Tool includes:

Users apply a range of filters to explore the relevant data. Data is presented in a range of visualisations and tables and can be downloaded by the user.

The tool is securely managed by Victoria Legal Aid. There is no client identification and external parties cannot access the tool.

Development process

The Data Discovery Tool has been developed by the Sector Engagement and Service Design and Data Services teams at Victoria Legal Aid, working closely with users from across the legal assistance sector. Each stage: concept, wireframes and prototype, has been shaped and refined in collaboration with CLCs and Victoria Legal Aid staff at different levels of data skill and capacity.

Rollout of the tool is supported by training and ongoing support for users of the tool including FAQs, use-cases and data manuals.  


For more information please email Marie Baird at or call (03) 9269 0109.

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