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Country experience: Austria

21.30.    The central bank of Austria, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) offers a statistics mobile application (known as an “app”)[1] that connects mobile users to the broad range of data provided by OeNB, including pertinent press releases. The application runs on Android or iOS mobile devices and was designed for smartphones, but also works well on tablets. The tool application enables OeNB to meet its social responsibility of providing sound financial statistics to the broad public in a highly efficient and user-friendly way. A mobile application can reach out to a large number of recipients and address fast-emerging target groups that are heavy users of modern technologies. 

21.31.    The application provides access to the following domains:

(a) OeNB, Eurosystem and monetary indicators;

(b) Interest rates and exchange rates;

(c) Financial institutions;

(d) Securities;

(e) Prices and competitiveness;

(f) Economic and industry indicators;

(g) Financial accounts;

(h) External sector;

(i) International comparisons.

21.32.    Users can select specific time series to be displayed as tables and charts. Data can be filtered for specific frequencies and ranges, and can also be forwarded to an e-mail address for access through another end device, such as office computers. Bookmarks allow for quick and regular access to specific time series. Moreover, the application automatically suggests a list of the most frequently accessed time series. Users are alerted to new developments through integrated statistical press releases, and can also access explanatory notes and publication schedules. Users can install the application via the Android and iOS application markets or by scanning the Quick Response (QR) Code provided on the OeNB website. 

21.31.    OeNB launched its mobile application in 2011 and reached about 4,000 users in the first year. A specific function allows for carrying out highly flexible user surveys, on the basis of which the application can be adapted to user needs. 

21.32.    The application complements the mix of communication tools used by OeNB, such as its web presence, publications geared to specific target groups and several instruments aimed at enhancing financial literacy. Substantial synergies have been achieved by implementing the application in the existing information technology infrastructure. Basically, the application serves as an alternative tool for presenting data extracts from the database that feeds the statistics applications of the web portal; the application connects to that database through an interface developed in-house.  The software itself was developed by an external software consultant. The whole project took about 18 months to develop and implement. The effort required to maintain the application is limited, as the application is built upon an existing and well-established infrastructure, and its administration is highly automated.

 

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