Jump to content
Linked data research

We’ve partnered with Administrative Data Research (ADR) Wales to lead on the social care theme in the ADR Wales programme of work. On this page you'll find more information on linked data research and how it helps our work in social care.

What is administrative data?

Administrative data is information collected by government and public services so that they can carry out their work effectively. When people interact with public bodies like schools, the NHS or the judicial system the information created helps monitor and improve these services. Visit About ADR UK - ADR UK to find out more about administrative data research.

What is linked data research?

Administrative data that’s collected in different places can be linked to compare information from various areas of our lives. This is called linked data research or data linkage.

This helps to:

  • evaluate policies and services, and target areas that need improvement or change
  • collect data about groups that aren’t usually as widely represented in research data
  • save time and resources because the information doesn’t need to be collected separately.

How will Social Care Wales lead on ADR Wales social care activities?

We’ve taken on an ambassador role for linked data research within social care in Wales.

Our main aims are:

  • to communicate and promote the benefits of linked data research
  • to engage with data owners and data collectors such as local authorities and care providers in the independent sector, with a focus on acquiring adult social care data for research purposes
  • to provide support and advice to help data owners and data collectors understand the benefits of sharing data and how this can be carried out legally, ethically, securely and safely.

How will we make sure data is kept private and secure?

Social Care Wales won’t collect any data as part of this work, but we’ll encourage stakeholders to share their data safely so that it can be used for research. In linked data research, the data used and linked together is held within an anonymised and secure databank.

In Wales we’re fortunate to have access to the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank (SAIL). This is a national data safe haven of de-identified datasets. Only researchers approved by SAIL’s independent information governance (IGRP) processes can access anonymised data via this secure research environment. Their project must meet strict criteria and demonstrate it’s in the interest of the public good.

It’s important to reassure our stakeholders that their data is in good hands. This means we’ll actively address any concerns they have about sharing data. Within our partnership with ADR Wales, we’ll bring together data science experts, leading academics and specialist teams. They're all experienced in safely and ethically sharing and using de-identified, linked administrative data. And we’ll only use the data for projects in the public interest.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about this work or if you’d like to be involved, contact Tara Hughes and Lynsey Cross, our ADR work leads, at tara.hughes@SocialCare.Wales and lynsey.cross@SocialCare.Wales

First published: 16 January 2024
Last updated: 16 January 2024
Download this page as a PDF (38.0 KB)
This file might not be fully accessible