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Short course

Introduction to Data Linkage for Research

Overview

This is a one-day course run by the School of Population and Global Health at The University of Melbourne that provides an introduction to administrative data and data linkage. The course is designed for policy makers, researchers, managers, analysts, and others working in the public sector with an interest in generating evidence. No knowledge of data linkage is required; however, basic familiarity with research methods is an asset. On completion of this course, participants will have a basic understanding of the practical considerations involved in using administrative data, and an awareness of the lifecycle of linked data research.

Specifically, this course will discuss the application of linked administrative data to real world problems, and outline how data linkage can be used to provide valuable, policy-relevant evidence. This course will consist of lectures and group discussions.

The next course will be held in winter 2020 (exact date TBA).

Short courses can be delivered at your workplace with groups of 10 or more and can be tailored to a particular organisation's needs.

Please contact the course administrator at linkage-shortcourse@unimelb.edu.au if you are interested in finding out more.

Course outline

Module 1: Administrative Data and Data LinkageIn this module you will gain an understanding of the diverse types of administrative data that can potentially be used for research. You will learn what data linkage is, and gain a basic understanding of how data can be linked for research purposes. We will explore some of the strengths and limitations of using linked data for research, including some of the key practical and methodological considerations associated with data linkage. The session will conclude with some examples of research using linked data, and discussion of how these studies have informed policy or practice.

Module 2: Acquiring DataIn this module we will introduce the key concepts involved in scoping the data required to answer a question of interest. The module will introduce design concepts such as bias, censoring, sampling and missingness, and you will learn how to critically appraise administrative data resources. The module will cover practical considerations such as ethics and privacy principles, and will provide an overview of a typical data acquisition process.

Module 3: Data ManagementIn this module we will provide an overview of the data management process as it relates to linked data. This will include the key steps prior to, and immediately after, gaining access to linked data. We will discuss the basic manipulation of data, including identifying the layout of your data, methods of transferring between long and wide formats, and considerations when combining datasets. We will detail the basics of data security followed by advice on setting up data analysis sessions to maximise the transferability and repeatability of research studies. Finally, we will discuss some common pitfalls of linked data, focusing on free-text, coded and date-time variables.

Module 4: Generating and Communicating ResultsThis module will provide an overview of the unique considerations involved in generating and communicating results from linked administrative data. The module will introduce common approaches and techniques for the analysis of linked data, and the reasoning behind them. We will provide an overview of data analysis techniques commonly applied to big data, and common strengths and limitations associated with analysis of linked data. The module will introduce practical ways of communicating results that maximise impact beyond the research sector, and equip you with the basic knowledge to engage with and contribute to data linkage research.

Course leaders

Mr Jesse Young

Mr Joshua Knight

How much is it?

Course Fees:

Early Bird – up until one month before course commencement: $500 (GST exclusive)
Normal Rates (non-early bird): $575 (GST exclusive)

Includes all course materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea.

IMPORTANT: This course may be cancelled one month prior to the course date if it has not reached the minimum number of participants. Registration fees will be reimbursed.

Application procedure

Level 4, 207 Bouverie Street
The University of Melbourne
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Victoria, 3010, Australia
Tel: +61 3 8344 8143

Course Information

Key dates

Held in winter 2020 (exact date TBA)

Location

Graduate House,

220 Leicester Street, Carlton,

The University of Melbourne

Entry requirements

No knowledge of data linkage is required; however, basic familiarity with research methods is an asset.