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Using data intelligently – creating better knowledge for a better society

The 2017 ADRN conference will take place in Edinburgh on 1-2 June 2017.

There are four themes:

  • The Substantive Value of Administrative Data Research
  • Methodological Challenges and Innovations
  • The Law, ethics and public acceptability of using administrative data for research
  • Technical Aspects of Administrative Data processing
This year, papers are also invited for two specialist sessions sponsored by CALLS-HUB:
  • Mortality and health inequalities – international perspectives using longitudinal census studies and population register data.
  • Migration: international perspectives using longitudinal census studies and population register data.

The call for abstracts is out now. Deadline for submission is 1 February 2017.

Find more details here

Second Welsh Government project using ADRC-W publishes Emerging Findings

The second Welsh Government led project to use the Administrative Data Research Centre for Wales (ADRC-W) has published its Emerging Findings Report.

The Fuel Poverty Data Linking Project has presented the emerging findings of a study designed to explore the impact of the Welsh Government’s Warm Homes Nest Scheme on health outcomes in Wales.

As part of its strategy to reduce fuel poverty in Wales, the Welsh Government implemented Nest, a demand-led fuel poverty scheme designed to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Wales.

The ADRC-W project used linked administrative data to examine the health and broader well-being impacts of Nest for low income households.


Read the latest on the ADRN Blog

Understanding the use of out-of-home care throughout childhood using administrative data

Each year the Department for Education publishes statistics related to children who were looked after (i.e. under the care of a local authority) during the year. From these annual reports we know how many children were looked after, the kind of care they received and how often they changed carer during the preceding year.

It’s a criminal waste: How using administrative data about crime could better inform public policy

The idea of collecting data and measuring crime in a systematic way is not new.  As far back as the 1830s, counting crime became prominent in France where it was promoted by so-called ‘moral statisticians’ as part of their mission to apply scientific principles to the study of the social world. 

#TalkBigData – Changing lives through big data research

The third Talk Big Data panel discussion was a resounding success. The panel was chaired by Katie McNeill, Functional Director at the UK Data Archive, who moderated the discussions between Sharon Witherspoon, the acting Head of Policy for the Academy of Social Sciences, Patrick Guthrie, Head of Public Service Reform at Essex County council, Stephen Simpkin, Senior Organisational Intelligence Officer at Essex County Council and Professor Mounia Lalmas, Director of Research at Yahoo! London.

Fresh Eyes: How Stakeholder Involvement Helps Get More From Your Data

In 2004, the fourth season of The Wire brought viewers from the streets of Baltimore into its classrooms, through the viewpoint of a group of researchers trialling a behavioural intervention. By the season finale, with teachers and students telling them of the programme’s benefits and with data to back up the claim, the research team arrange a meeting at the mayor’s office and make the case for a city-wide trial.

Linking de-identified administrative data can create rich datasets that are an amazing source for research on our society. Check out these case studies that have already had massive impact on people's lives.

Leaving prison, finding work

Having a job helps to stop people re-offending after they leave prison, and re-offending is expensive – not just for the government but for society as a whole. So, it makes sense for government to understand the links between employment, benefits and offending. That way, they can create policies which really work and help ex-offenders back into work.

Helping the most deprived areas

In 2009, a small charity-run youth centre in Jaywick looked set to close due to lack of funds. Inclusion Ventures gives children and teenagers emotional support, keeps them active, encourages them to eat healthily – and gives them something to do. Sarah Hanness, who runs it, says anti-social behaviour in the town has fallen since the centre first opened in 2002.

Supporting schools

The National Pupil Database is owned by the Department of Education, and contains detailed information on every child in school in England. It combines a range of data on pupils from different sources – including:

  • exam results
  • attendance records
  • name of the school a child is attending

The different sets of data are linked using a unique pupil identifier (a type of reference number), rather than the pupils’ names or personal details.

Digital Scotland

A project called ‘Digitising Scotland’ aims to computerise all birth, marriage and death certificates in Scotland from 1850 to 1974. These documents hold important and useful information, such as:

  • the occupation and age of parents and newlyweds
  • a person’s age at death and cause of death

Digitising and linking these data collections will allow researchers to produce anonymised family trees for everyone in Scotland between 1850 and 1974 – and to see patterns in the data.

Free school meals not reaching children most in need

Research shows that 29% of the 1.4 million eligible children do not take part in the UK’s Free School Meals programme.

It is well established that those children not taking up their entitlement are from the most deprived households and so would benefit most, both nutritionally and in their educational performance, from receiving a free school meal.

Read more

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