Data for social good

Administrative data research can be used to improve policies, services, and lives.

It can turn simple records into a rich source of evidence about developments across society, particularly when data from different sources are linked together. Our research can show trends over time and long-term outcomes for people and communities; it can highlight the factors that make our health and wellbeing greater or poorer, our communities safer, or families wealthier.

As valuable as this research can be, we know that as administrative data generally relates to how individuals engage with public services or departments, it is critical to ensure it is kept secure, and only used when doing so is in the public interest. In Scotland there are a host of checks and balances in place to ensure that’s the case, and we also work with our own panel of members of the public to ensure our work remains focused on what can deliver benefits for the people of Scotland and the UK. 

Read more about how we keep data safe >

Research that benefits the public

We work with government, civil society and the public to share our findings and make sure we explore areas that can make an impact.

Our teams are working on projects across which aim to explore questions including:

  • How different types of placements affect the lives of children in care
  • If and how sanctions impact on the health of people receiving social security benefits
  • If and how the lives and social circumstances of those who have served in the armed forces are different to other parts of society
  • What factors influence the kind of care people have access to and receive at the end of their lives – whether things like socio-economic status, living alone or geography make a difference, and the implications this can have for health and care services
  • Factors that affect demand for emergency services across Scotland

Read more about our research >