Doing data better

BLOG: Roger Halliday, interim CEO at Research Data Scotland and Chief Statistician to the Scottish Government, reflects on our development as the RDS service goes live.

Roger Halliday
      Roger Halliday

As we recover from Covid, it is clear that to make substantive change in Scotland requires a person-centred approach to public services with collaboration needed to achieve this. This includes collaboration in service planning and delivery, and in data-based evidence. 

Research Data Scotland has been set up to do just that by allowing research in the public good to be done on data around people, places or businesses whilst keeping this data very safe.

It is excellent to see the developments to the Research Data Scotland service that we're launching today. The improved information for researchers through our website and on the phone should make working through the process of getting data a bit easier, as will the sharing of new standard Information Governance documents. The new datasets available (such as the Scottish Medical Imaging data) will open new research possibilities.

These are small steps towards the ideal service for researchers. In moving forwards, we'll be engaging users at each step: thanks to those who have been helping to develop our digital application form that will reduce effort. 

These are small steps towards the ideal service for researchers. In moving forwards, we'll be engaging users at each step

We will be running a consultation over most of October about priority datasets and developments in analytical software people would like to see. And we'll be further developing a more proportionate Information Governance model.  We'll update and consult further on all of this at our next user forum in mid-November and lay out an organisation strategy before the end of the year.

We have some excellent case studies of improving people's wellbeing through research that brings data together in this way. With the improvements we're making and planning in Research Data Scotland, we can make this a systematic way of supporting decision making and saving time, money and lives with data.