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The Administrative Data Research Network is an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 - July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, to be launched later in 2018.

Creating a data linkage toolkit for homelessness, housing related support and social care organisations in Wales: Maximising the potential of data to aid policy and practice

The aim of this project will be to work with a number of third sector organisations in Wales to link their data to routinely collected administrative data, and co-produce analysis which suit their operational needs. Drawing on these case studies in data linkage, a resource (toolkit) will be created that will include a user friendly account of different forms of analysis that can be conducted along with the associated coding needed to replicate different forms of analysis using the same data sources.

This project will provide new insights for participating organisations into the impacts of their activities on service users’ outcomes, which can then be used to improve services. However, the main benefit from the project will be the research toolkit, which it is hoped will become a resource that the third sector in Wales can draw on when commissioning future research, and/or conduct their own data linkage analysis.

The reuse of routinely collected administrative data represents a low cost way to inform policy and practice. Many, if not all third sector housing and social care organisations gather and use information in some shape or form, particularly those working with a service user base. However, use of this data is in some cases hampered by limited resources and expertise in data analysis and linkage. The aim of this project is therefore to produce a research toolkit to increase the use of administrative data and data linkage by housing and social care organisations. In Wales, roughly 10 percent of third sector organisations work within the area of health and social care, equating to approximately 3,300 organisations, with 3 per cent engaging in activities related to housing, or roughly 1,000 organisations (Welsh Council for Voluntary Action, 2016). There are therefore a number of housing/social care organisations in Wales who could benefit from the creation of a toolkit on how to link their data.

Research team/lead researcher: Dr Ian Thomas, Cardiff University/ADRC-W

Date approved: May 2018

Page last updated: 11/07/2018