“Let’s use data to save time, money and lives”: ADR Scotland partners gather for mini-summit

Earlier this week team members from across the ADR Scotland partnership gathered for a day of networking, discussion and information sharing.

Around 40 people involved in the ESRC/UKRI funded partnership joined the event, from across Scottish Government, the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, NHS Scotland’s electronic Data Research and Innovation Service (eDRIS), National Records of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh’s EPCC.

ADR Scotland co-directors Professor Chris Dibben and Roger Halliday (Chief Statistician and Data Officer for the Scottish Government) opened the session, welcoming everyone and setting the scene.

In his opening address, Roger stressed the potential administrative data research has, and that his vision is of a future where “data will be systematically used to improve decision making: saving time, money and lives”. He set out Scotland’s National Performance Framework and the key role he believes administrative data plays in achieving its goals. He then introduced the new ‘Research Data Scotland’ service his team aims to roll out in 2020, which will combine a researcher-facing service to provide project data access support with secure data access routes and infrastructure, data indexing and acquisition services, and information governance and ethics advice.

The leads of each of the ADR Scotland strategic impact programmes then introduced their work (across themes of work and social security, health and social care, lifelong health and wellbeing, children’s outcomes, safer communities and e-cohorts). Short talks were then given on a range of relevant topics. These included David Grzybowski from the Scottish Government Data acquisition team presenting on a key government example of data use in practice (‘Persons at risk distribution’ system), and ESRC Impact Prize winner Professor Susan McVie presenting on how to deliver policy impact with research.

Lastly, attendees split into groups to discuss three core areas to share knowledge and find potential solutions: on working with policy makers for maximum impact; on working with data controllers to widen access to data; and on the process for researchers accessing data and how it can be streamlined. Discussion points raised will be shared with the partnership leadership, so they can inform how ADR Scotland moves forward.

Many thanks to all those who attended and took part in the day. It was an important opportunity to bring everyone together and focus on our joint goals to drive forward administrative data research and linkage in Scotland.

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This event was organised by the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, within the ADR Scotland and ADR UK partnership, funded by UKRI/ESRC

This article was published on 27 Sep 2019

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