Working with Administrative Data: From Ideas to Research

Thursday, 9 February, 2017
9:30am - 2:00pm (tea and coffee in AM, buffet lunch in PM)
The Pendulum Hotel Sackville Street, Manchester, M1 3BB

The SASNet project's programme of training and capacity building events continues with a free training seminar on research with administrative data.

Leading urban and social science increasingly use individual level data collected by public bodies, companies or other organisations for research purposes. The Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) at the University of Glasgow together with guest speakers is hosting a seminar on accessing these types of administrative data for research.

This is an introductory seminar intended for researchers who are thinking of using individual level administrative data in the future.

The seminar provides and an all-around perspective on this topic, covering:

  • the purpose of research services, such as UBDC, which aim to support researcher access to administrative data;
  • the legal framework that regulates research with potentially personal data, particularly the Data Protection Act of 1998;
  • common misconceptions around data protection and the reality of data sharing;
  • data owners' perspective and public impact;
  • the research process, from constructing a proposal through applying for data to conducting analyses.

There will be opportunities for questions and discussion.


(Programme is a draft, specific timings and order of events subject to change)

09:30-10:00 Welcome, tea and coffee

10:00-10:15 Introduction. Facilitating research: the role of the ESRC Big Data Network research centres

Dr. Mirjam Allik, Data scientist (University of Glasgow)

10:15-11:30 Section 1. The legal and cultural landscape: the law and the reality

Ms. Stacey Harper, Information Compliance and Records Management Specialist (University of Glasgow)

  • DPA of 1998 and data protection
  • Data controllers and processors
  • Research exemption

Ms. Leslie Stevens, Research Fellow (ADRC Scotland and University of Edinburgh School of Law)

  • Misconceptions around data protection
  • Data controllers perspective
  • Securing access to data


11:30-11:45 Tea/coffee

11:45-13:00 Section 2. The research process: experiences and expectations

Dr. Catherine Stewart, Research Associate (University of Glasgow)

Dr. Ruth Dundas, Senior Investigator Scientist (University of Glasgow)

  • Designing the study and applying for data
  • The data itself
  • UBDC projects: The health of looked after children in Scotland
  • Opportunities for publication

Ms. Amy Tilbrook, Research co-ordinator (eDRIS, NHS National Services Scotland)

  • Data access applications
  • Research safe havens

Dr. Mirjam Allik, Data scientist (University of Glasgow)

  • The process at UBDC


13:00-14:00 Lunch and networking