About the Centre

The main aim of ADRC WALES was to create a world-class administrative data research centre, known for its ability to access, link and make safe use of data for high quality research. Our work was underpinned by a robust Governance framework. ADRC Wales objectives were to:

  • Provide powerful, robust, state-of-the art data linkage and data access facilities. This included provision of highly secure ‘safe rooms’ where researchers worked on the data.
  • Run a high quality, equitable and efficient ‘customer focused’ user support service, free at the point of access, ensuring that the analytical opportunities provided by ADRC Wales were accessible to the widest possible community of researchers
  • Create a rich linked administrative data resource for the UK research community, by enabling datasets from different organisations to be used together safely.
  • Carry out original research using linked administrative data. This included developing new methods for data linkage, working with government, law and ethics bodies on the Governance of data use, and working with the general public and organisations to understand their views on data linkage. We worked with other researchers to answer important social and economic research questions.
  • Provide a range of high-quality training and development opportunities for researchers, public service professionals and policy makers.
  • Involve members of the public in the work of ADRC Wales, and engage with the public to raise awareness of data linkage research, to understand the concerns they may have, and to seek to provide reassurance.
  • Build good working relationships and collaborations within the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN), with Welsh Government, other UK governments, and their National Statistical Agencies (NSAs), the economic and social science research community and health researchers.

The Administrative Data Research Centre Wales (ARDC Wales), led by Professor David Ford at Swansea University was one of four UK Centres alongside England, Northern Ireland and Scotland operating within the ADRN (Administrative Data Research Network). ADRC Wales was based at both Swansea University and WISERD at Cardiff University.

The ADRN and its centres were established to provide a safe, secure and transparent data linkage service for accredited, approved research in the UK with the aim of helping the UK towards ‘Better Knowledge for a Better Society’.  We welcomed applications from researchers from academia and government departments, as well as third sector organisations that were eligible for Research Councils UK funding.