Data Linkage

SAIL Databank holds large amounts of data on the population of Wales. Data linkage is way of harnessing this valuable resource by intelligently combining anonymised data from across multiple separate datasets based on commonly identifying information to create a new dataset for research analysis.

The SAIL Databank team have over 10 years’ experience of producing pre-linked datasets according to researchers’ requirements opening the doors to all researchers regardless of their own level of data linkage experience to use SAIL Databank as part of their important research.

Data Linkage has enormous potential for uncovering new areas of research with impact.

Benefits of Data Linkage

Access to extensive population data

The ability to link multiple sources of data together that relate to e.g. a particular individual, a geographical location or an event, brings a new dimension to answering research questions. Data linkage allows researchers to use existing collections of extensive data that have been routinely collected and stored securely to identify patterns across entire populations to give a much broader picture.

Increase your depth of understanding

Previously unnoticed relationships can be identified giving greater depth of clarity and understanding that wouldn’t otherwise be possible from analysis using a single source of data alone.

Efficient and cost effective resource

Using existing data is far more cost effective than having to collect the equivalent data through other methods such as surveys, and is overall far less intrusive. This makes many research projects more feasible and an increase in research activities leads to greater health and wellbeing for populations, improvements in the provision of services and care, and helps to form policy at the highest level.

Use high quality research data

In addition, the quality of research data is improved to produce greater accuracy as the Quality Assurance process of linking data can identify and eliminate anomalies such as duplicate records that can otherwise affect the results of a study.

Open up new research opportunities

Linking together existing data gives endless opportunities to research areas of interest that may not have been previously possible. It allows more sophisticated research questions to be tackled to give a greater depth of understanding.