The Digital Economy Act 2017 enables better sharing and use of data across organisational boundaries, at a time of dramatic increase in the volume of data available and a wide range of sources. When disconnected, these data are limited in their usefulness. However, by linking data together, we combine their resources and enrich the insights they can provide enhancing our understanding of society, driving policy change for greater public good and minimising respondent burden.
However, there are many challenges associated with data linkage. For example, the quality of linkage and how this can impact the subsequent processing and analysis, affecting the interpretation of data and therefore the decisions made. We must ensure that the data linkage methods we are using are in-keeping with best practice and evolving research trends across industries and identify skills or resource gaps preventing this. We also need to understand the potential of methods for linking anonymised data to understand the balance between maintaining data privacy and the utility of the data.
The review Joined up data in government: the future of data linking methods
, published in August 2020, set out to engage with the data linkage community across government, academia, the third sector and internationally to understand data linkage challenges faced and identify state-of-the-art data linking methods. A set of recommendations for government were also formulated as part of the review to improve data linkage.
This session will feature presentations from three of the expert contributors to this review.
4.00pm Welcome and Introduction - Professor Andromachi Tseloni, Nottingham Trent University & Ministry of Justice
4.10pm Open-source software for linkage Splink: MoJ’s open source library for probabilistic record linkage at scale - Robin Linacre, Ministry of Justice
4.25pm Quality assessment in data linkage - Dr James Doidge, Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre
4.40pm Linking with anonymised data; how not to make a hash of it - Dr Rachel Shipsey/ Josie Plachta, Office for National Statistics
4.55pm Discussion and feedback/ questions Chaired by Dr James Tucker, Office for National Statistics
Robin Linacre, Ministry of Justice
Dr James Doige, Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre
Dr Rachel Shipsey and Josie Placha, Office for National Statistics
Free to attend but pre-registration required