Census 2021: Adelaide’s Clevertar creates Claire to help Australians complete Census


A chatbot going by the name of ‘Claire’ will help Australians complete the 2021 Census.

With around 10 million households expected to undertake the Census in 2021, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has partnered with South Australian technology company Clevertar to deploy the Census’ first chatbot assistant.

Available via the Census website, Claire will help Australians undertaking the Census by answering a range of questions and helping users find the information they need through guided conversation.

Conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Census provides a snapshot of who we are and tells the story of how we are changing as a nation. It’s used to inform many things, from planning schools, healthcare and roads to local services for individuals, families and communities.

“We are doing everything that we can to ensure a positive Census experience for the Australian community,” said Andrew Henderson, ABS Census Executive Director and national spokesperson.

“A key focus for the 2021 Census is to increase the variety of support options available to the public to make it easier for people to complete the Census online or in paper form. The addition of self-service features like Claire will help to ensure that people have timely and relevant responses to their Census questions”, he added.

Hosted and delivered by Clevertar in Australia, Claire is the result of an extensive preparation and planning for the 2021 Census to ensure the public can access the help they need. User testing has been conducted to ensure Claire is useful for customers, with continual optimisation to create a better experience.

“Claire is a specialised chatbot; she’s an expert in all-things Census. She makes even the trickiest questions easy to answer,” said Tanya Newhouse, CEO at Clevertar.

“By drawing on previous customer enquiries and through collaboration with the ABS, Claire is able to deliver information and answers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“By providing another customer service option to assist people, Claire will help reduce wait times in phone queues.

“Trials of this technology in the health sector have shown that people feel more comfortable talking to a chatbot than they do their doctor, so we’re confident Australians will enjoy turning to Claire with their Census-related questions.

“The content which makes up Claire’s knowledgebase is based on data from the previous Census, including contact centre enquiries.

“This is prepared by ABS subject matter experts in collaboration with Clevertar, who have applied expertise on how to craft conversations from a structural standpoint to create a greater user experience.

“Her extensive knowledge covers a range of different areas including troubleshooting, technical assistance, specific queries about Census questions, and assistance for completing the Census itself.”

Claire’s image is modelled from the average Australian in 2016. Claire will provide on-demand non-judgemental support to the public.

These changes, together with new options for customer self-service, have been designed to make the Census as simple and easy to complete as possible. The aim is for people to find it easy to give accurate responses, an outcome that ultimately results in an increase in the quality of population data.


Clevertar is an award-winning Australian company that provides chatbots for customer engagement, specialising in virtual characters as a conversational interface. The company was born out of research showing that conversational virtual characters are influential and engaging, and Clevertar has developed a software platform for the creation and delivery of chatbots utilising this innovative technology.

We strongly believe that the benefits of AI-driven customer support should flow to everyone, and we have worked hard to create tools to deliver benefits to end-users. The range of applications is vast and includes business, education, entertainment, and more. It’s a new and powerful channel of communication, modelled on the most original channel of them all, human conversation.

Our technology is operational across all modern devices and browsers, delivering a consistent experience available to almost everyone who is connected to the internet. And you don’t need to be a computer scientist to create a Clevertar chatbot – our team works with subject matter experts to create a compelling customer experience, using our content management and delivery system to enable a fast and reliable deployment.

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