Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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WISERD DataPortal

The WISERD DataPortal is a web application that enhances a researcher’s ability to search, discover, map and download socio-economic research data related to Wales. The aim is to encourage the re-use and re-purposing of existing data. 

Who developed it?

The WISERD DataPortal has been developed by the Wales Institute of Social Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD) as part of the Data and Methods strand.

Why was it developed?

The Welsh Government, Westminster Government and UK Research Councils are all encouraging social science researchers to use existing sources of data where-ever possible. This includes large scale survey data collected by Government (eg Census; Labour Force Survey; National Survey for Wales); bespoke surveys undertaken by local authorities and other organisations (eg housing needs surveys; Active Adults Survey); administrative data routinely collected by various organisations such as civil society and third sector groups as part of their daily functions (e.g. volunteering data; homelessness figures; data on disadvantaged groups); and data collected by University researchers on funded projects.

One real issue with using these data is a lack of knowledge of what data are available, whether it is fit for the purpose of the proposed research, and how to access the data. The WISERD DataPortal has been designed to make answering some of these questions easier by proving access to rich standards compliant meta-data on a wide variety of data sources and allowing researchers to search the meta-data.

Accessing the WISERD DataPortal

The WISERD DataPortal can be found at http://data.wiserd.ac.uk.

You will be required to register to use the DataPortal. This information will be used for monitoring purposes.

How does it work?

The WISERD DataPortal has been written using free and open-source software (FOSS) and runs in your web browser. We recommend Google Chrome for the best experience although it is compatible with all mainstream browsers. It is also designed to run on a number of platforms including tablets and mobile devices.

What does it do?

The WISERD DataPortal has three main functions:

i. Meta-Data Search

This allows the user to use keywords to search and discover standards compliant meta-data for a wide range of surveys undertaken by government and other organisations including WISERD. The meta-data includes questions asked, response categories, sample sizes, the geographies at which the data are available and how the source data maybe accessed. 

ii. Data Mapping and Download

This provides tools to map a variety of socio-economic data, points of interest and boundary data for Wales and to export the map and download the data for further analysis.

iii. Map My Data

This allows users to map their own data for areas in Wales and to export this as a publishable map. This function has been specially designed so that all the mapping occurs inside the user's browser rather than on the WISERD DataPortal server. This means that potentially sensitive data does not leave the user's machine.

Use Case

National Assembly for Wales Constituency Mapper

As part of our work with the National Assembly for Wales, a bespoke interface has been developed for the WISERD DataPortal which allows Assembly research staff, Assembly Members and their support staff to access and map a wide range of data for National Assembly for Wales Constituencies and Regions. This interface can be accessed here.

What next

The WISERD DataPortal is being further developed for civil society groups and third sector organisations who wish to improve their use of data in their research.

Find out more

A number of resources, including publications and presentations, are available, providing more information on the WISERD DataPortal. These can be downloaded using the links below.

  • Presentation on the development of the WDP available here
  • Academic paper on the concept behind the WDP available here
  • International conference paper available here
  • Publication in Transactions in GIS here
  • Follow the WDP’s development on Twitter
  • Read about the latest project developments in the WISERD DataPortal Development blog

Get involved

WISERD has an number of user groups and training events over the coming months. If you are interested in the developments of the WISERD DataPortal and would like to get involved then please email Scott Orford at OrfordS@cardiff.ac.uk.

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