Training & accessing data

Accessing administrative data for research can be a complex, therefore SCADR have listed a variety of training links here.

Clarifying the processes

The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research is working with the Scottish Government and others (as part of the ADR UK initiative) to clarify and smooth these processes. Doing so will enable more research for the public good, and provide more evidence to inform decision making about key public services and policies.

As part of this work, a new handbook for researchers has been produced by the ADR Scotland team, aiming to give a comprehensive overview of what to consider when accessing data for research. The handbook covers:

  • Where to start and who can help
  • What data is available
  • Developing research questions and defining the data needed to answer them
  • Processes and requirements for accessing data: the differences between data controller requirements
  • The importance of clear public benefit in research
  • Costing and funding information
  • How data linkage works
  • What to expect when accessing data – safe settings information
  • A guide to information governance considerations
  • Research output guidance, restrictions and advice

Download the handbook and if you have suggestions about content or how it can be improved, please contact us.

What training is available?

  • ‘An introduction to using linked administrative data for social and health research’ is run on a regular basis by team members from our centre and other partners.
  • ‘Safe Researcher Training’ (ONS-SRT), delivered regularly by our centre. This training provides the skills and information required to work with sensitive data, and is a requirement for any researchers accessing data in the safe haven network. 
  • For those new to quantitative research, most universities run in-depth introductions for staff and students to statistical packages like SPSS, R and Stata.
  • Other teams run courses which may be useful, such as the Scottish Longitudinal Studies team, who run courses on specific elements such as survival analysis, and an introduction to the Scottish Longitudinal Study resource.

How to access data, and who can help?

Accessing data can be complex, and the specific processes can depend on the organisations which hold the data. Read our Resources page for helpful links and more information.

As well as our centre team, there are some key organisations and initiatives in the administrative data research field to be aware of:

Who can help?

If you would like advice or information about administrative data research in Scotland, contact us or the  electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS) team (part of the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS National Services Scotland).

Categories and tags

accessing data