news | 19.05.2016 |

Research with administrative data: Opportunities and legal framework

On 17 May 2016, the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), in collaboration with the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office at the University of Glasgow, hosted Research with administrative data: Opportunities and legal framework.

The half-day training seminar was aimed at researchers who are thinking of using administrative data in the future. In particular, it focused on the use of administrative data about individuals that could be considered personal data, and also covered:

  • the purpose of research services, such as the UBDC, which aim to support researcher access to administrative data;
  • the legal framework that regulates research with personal data, particularly the Data Protection Act of 1998; and
  • the research process, from constructing a proposal through applying for data to conduct analyses.

The workshop included a presentation from Professor Nick Bailey, UBDC Associate Director, about the role of the ESRC Big Data Network research centres in facilitating research with administrative data, and a presentation from Stacey Harper from the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office on the legal framework. The training seminar concluded by providing concrete examples of conducting research with administrative data with case studies from Ruth Dundas and Catherine Stewart, as well as the process at the UBDC as explained by Mirjam Allik. We very much appreciate the participation and feedback provided by all the researchers in attendance.

If you were not able to attend or would like to review material from the event, all of the presentation slides can be downloaded at the following links:

We were very pleased to share this free training seminar with researchers and look forward to producing related events in the future. If you have suggestions on what type of activities would be useful, please email


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