The Administrative Data Research Network was an ESRC-funded project that ran from October 2013 to July 2018. It is currently at the end of its funding cycle and is no longer taking applications. Administrative data research will be taken forward in a new project, which was launched at the end of 2018.

Visit the Administrative Data Research Partnership for further information. 

This archival website reflects the state of play at the end of the project in July 2018. All content has been frozen and may not be up to date.

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Opportunities and obstacles of using Administrative Data 

John Pullinger CB, UK Statistics Authority talks about the opportunities and obstacles facing those looking to share and use Administrative Data.


There’s some fabulous opportunities for sharing data ahead of us, but I think there are probably 3 obstacles that need to be overcome.

The first is legislation. We need to be absolutely clear what the law allows and what the conditions are that will enable legal sharing of data to take place.

The second is incentives. People who are custodians of data rightly take great care over who uses it. But if you get the incentives in place to show the value of sharing, then we’ll get more of it.

But the third one is resources, and people’s time and the money needed to make data available in many government departments in particular is a significant cost. We need to work out that the benefits significantly outweigh the costs of doing it. Once we do that then data sharing will start taking place.

I think we’re very close and I think that over the next year we’ll see a significant shift for the better.

Page last updated: 24/07/2018