Data linkage is the way we can harness and use the vast amounts of data stored in the SAIL Databank.
It enables us to combine anonymised data from many separate datasets based on commonly identifying information to create a new dataset for research analysis.
Access to extensive population data
Being able to link multiple sources of data together that relate to an individual, a location or an event, brings a new dimension to research, allowing researchers to use existing data to identify patterns across entire populations to give a much broader picture.
Increasing depth of understanding
Researchers can identify previously unnoticed relationships, giving greater depth of clarity and understanding than would be possible from analysing a single source of data.
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 far less intrusive. This makes many research projects more feasible, and more research means better health and wellbeing, improvements in services and care, and better-informed policy.
High quality research data
The quality assurance process of linking data can identify and eliminate anomalies such as duplicate records. This improves the quality of the data and makes the research more accurate.
Creating new research opportunities
Linking existing data creates endless opportunities to research areas of interest that may not have been previously possible by allowing more sophisticated research questions to be tackled.