Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) plays a crucial role in sourcing, linking and curating public sector data for ADR UK, ensuring that all data is accessed by researchers in a safe and secure form with minimal risk to data holders or the public.
The strong existing relationships the ONS has with government departments and successful established service are important in helping to establish ADR UK as a trusted partner for administrative data research.
To support the ADR UK partnership, the ONS has committed to expanding and improving its established Secure Research Service – the organisation’s facility for providing secure access to de-identified public sector data for research – and significantly increasing the range of administrative data available. ONS will focus on increased data reuse to deliver efficiencies to government departments (who only need to provide data once), and maximise the use of this data by identifying shared priorities and objectives with government departments.
Within the ONS there are designated teams working together to meet the needs of government and researchers: the Strategic Data Curation team; the Data Acquisition team; and the Data Integration team. The role of Strategic Data Curation is to identify potential research and administrative data sources by exploring gaps in existing research and working to establish the needs of both government and researchers. The Data Acquisition team liaise with data owners to allow datasets from multiple departments and bodies to be linked together. Finally, the Data Integration team are the experts in linkage and management of data, producing linked datasets or outputs of administrative datasets which are then de-identified and made available to researchers through the Secure Research Service.
It is via the Secure Research Service – which is an accredited processor under the Digital Economy Act (DEA) – that ONS provides access for accredited researchers working on defined and accredited research projects which serve the public good. The Secure Research Service provides a safe setting as part of the Five Safes framework used to protect data confidentiality. ONS procedures mean that analysis results don’t disclose sensitive information, and the Secure Rsearch Service operates within a legal framework with penalties for breaking these rules.
The ONS is the lead delivery partner for the new Integrated Data Service (IDS). Built on the success of the Secure Research Service, the IDS is a cross-government initiative which has been designed to transform the way de-identified data about our society and economy is made available for vital research and decision making in the UK.
The IDS will provide co-ordinated access to high quality data - critical for driving efficiency and improving public services. The service will soon be open to analysts within government as well as external accredited researchers, allowing them to carry out analysis that addresses major societal challenges.
The service will provide improved forms of data, alongside analytical and visualisation tools, in a secure cloud infrastructure. It is a main enabler of the Government’s National Data Strategy and Modernisation agenda. You can learn more about the Integrated Data Service on the IDS website.
Learn more about becoming an accredited or approved researcher on the ONS website.
The ONS is funded directly by the Economic & Social Research Council with a dedicated portion of the total investment in ADR UK. To find out more about how ADR UK is funded, see About Us.
Connecting administrative vehicle data for research on sustainable transport
28 March 2023
This project aims to link existing data sources to create de-identified datasets that researchers can use to understand vehicle ownership and usage patterns. This new resource will have the potential to generate insights that inform sustainable transport policy design and implementation, at both the local and national level.
Dynamics in private pension saving
13 February 2023
This project, led by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, will produce two new linked datasets on private pension saving that are high quality and accessible for approved research. The dataset will provide a comprehensive picture of how much money people in the UK are putting into personal pensions set against their employment type and total earnings. It will include employees as well as the self-employed, people working for their own companies and those not working.
Linked local data on children and young people
9 February 2023
In this project, the team aims to create a research-ready dataset linking data held on children by local authorities, including education and social care, with data held by health services. This new resource will enable researchers to build evidence to support local and national strategies that improve outcomes for children.
A shared approach to tracking research impact: working with data from the Office for National Statistics
2 June 2023
In this blog, Louise Corti, Head of Impact at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service, speaks about how those funding, promoting or leading research using ONS managed data can work with the ONS to track and showcase impact.
Keynote speakers announced for ADR UK Conference 2023
26 May 2023
ADR UK is delighted to announce the keynote speakers for the ADR UK Conference 2023, in partnership with the Office for National Statistics.
Tracking impact at the Office for National Statistics: An overview of education-themed data analysis and research
25 May 2023
In this blog, Abbie Bevan explains how the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Analytical Impact team has demonstrated the impact of education-themed research using ONS Secure Research Service data.
Find out more
You can find out more about the datasets available via the SRS on the ONS website. If you are interested in working with ADR UK on a research project using this data to produce policy impact, please get in touch.