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.
ONS’s strong existing relationships with government departments and successful established service is important in helping to establish ADR UK as a trusted partner for administrative data research.
To support the ADR UK partnership, ONS has committed to expanding and improving its established Secure Research Service (SRS) – 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 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 SRS.
It is via the SRS – which is an accredited processor under the Digital Economy Act (DEA) – that ONS provides access for approved researchers working on defined and accredited research projects which serve the public good. The SRS 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 SRS operates within a legal framework with penalties for breaking these rules. More information about ONS's Approved Researcher Scheme can be found on the ONS website.
Most datasets are available to access through remote access to the SRS. In some instances, the data can only be accessed from an approved Safe Setting. Safe Settings are located at ONS offices in London, Newport (Gwent) and Titchfield, as well as at locations in Belfast and Glasgow. The Data Catalogue lists all available datasets and any associated access restrictions.
ONS is funded directly by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) to support ADR UK with a dedicated portion of the total £44 million investment in the partnership, for an initial three-year period from July 2018 to July 2021. To find out more about how ADR UK is funded, see About Us.
Homelessness Data England: Linking local authority data to evaluate homelessness policy
10 August 2020
This project aims to create a linked dataset of information about homelessness in England, to improve our understanding of its causes and impacts.
Shaping and testing the GUIE dataset: Roma, Gypsy and Traveller children case study
22 June 2020
This project aims to shape, test and demonstrate the value of the newly linked Growing Up in England (GUIE) dataset in addressing data gaps and building up new quantitative evidence with a focus on Roma, Gypsy and Traveller (RGT) children and young people.
Data First: Harnessing the potential of linked administrative data for the justice system
6 March 2020
Data First is an ambitious data-linking programme led by MoJ that aims to harness the potential of the wealth of data by linking administrative datasets from across the justice system and beyond.
ADR UK data access: Covid-19 update
26 October 2020
An update about how ADR UK's data services are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue to provide updates here as and when circumstances change further.
Homelessness Data England: Providing the missing link in homelessness research
1 October 2020
Researchers from the Homelessness Data England project within the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government discuss how this initiative will improve our understanding of homelessness and help inform more effective interventions.
ADR UK 2019-20: Reflections on our second year
29 September 2020
ADR UK has published its 2019-20 Annual Report, reflecting on our second year in operation.
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.