Home » Evaluating linkage quality for the analysis of linked data – Oxford

Evaluating linkage quality for the analysis of linked data – Oxford

Date(s) - 11/05/2018
9:30 am - 4:45 pm

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This is a training and capacity building event co-organised by the Administrative Data Research Centre England (ADRC_E) and the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC).

This short course is designed to give participants a practical introduction to handling and evaluating quality of linked data, and is aimed at researchers who want to understand more about how the data linkage process might impact on results derived from linked data. We will cover processing of linked data, concepts of linkage error and bias, and evaluating how linkage error might impact on analysis. This course includes a mixture of lectures and group work that will enable participants to put theory into practice.

Introduction to Data Linkage is a separate course on the 10th May which will cover examples of the uses of data linkage, data preparation, and methods for linkage (including deterministic and probabilistic approaches and privacy-preserving linkage).


We recommend this course is booked in conjunction with Introduction to Data Linkage on the 10th May 2018, but it can also be booked as a separate one day course.


Katie Harron is a Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods at UCL GOS Institute of Child Health and the Administrative Data Research Centre for England. Katie is a statistician with research interests in using linkage of administrative data and electronic health records for health research. Her current research involves establishing how nationally representative, population-level administrative data can be used to identify and measure determinants of variation in service use and educational outcomes for children born preterm by linking information on maternal, household and social environments. Katie completed her PhD in Statistics at University College London. She is a co-editor of a Wiley commissioned book “Methodological developments in data linkage” with Prof Harvey Goldstein and Prof Chris Dibben.

James Doidge is a Senior Research Associate at UCL GOS Institute of Child Health and the Administrative Data Research Centre for England. James’s interests in research methods and evidence-based public policy have led to experience in a wide range of research fields, including child health and development, child protection and the social determinants of health, nutrition, education and crime. His current role focuses on driving forward the utilisation of large linked administrative datasets for research purposes, through development of relevant statistical methods and exemplary studies that demonstrate the potential value of these data.

Target Audience

The course is aimed at researchers who need to gain an understanding of data linkage techniques and of how to analyse linked data. The course provides an introduction to data linkage theory and methods for those who might be using linked data in their own work. Participants may be academic researchers in the social and health sciences or may work in government, survey agencies, official statistics, for charities or the private sector.

Experience of using Stata or other software will be useful for the practical session.

Course Contents

The course covers:

  • Data processing
  • Classifying linkage designs
  • Evaluating linkage quality and bias
  • Reporting analysis of linked data
  • Understanding the implications of linkage error using example research question

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Evaluate the success of data linkage
  • Understand the implications of linkage error on analysis of linked data
  • Appropriately report analysis based on linked data

Event outline 

  • Data processing
  • Merging and restructuring data
  • Linkage error and bias
  • Classifying linkage designs
  • Evaluating the impact of linkage error in analysis
  • Reporting of linkage studies

Please email adrce@soton.ac.uk for more information.

Computer Software and Computer workshops

This event includes computer workshops. Participants will need to bring their own laptops with a Windows operating system with Excel, and LinkPlus software (freely available from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr/tools/registryplus/lp_tech_info.htm)

Please note LinkPlus is not compatible with Macs.

Course fee (per day)

£30 – UK registered students
£60 – staff at UK academic institutions and research centres, UK-registered charity and voluntary organisations, staff in public sector and government
£220 – all other participants including staff from commercial organisations

Register here

All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.

Numbers on the course are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.