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An Introduction to the UK Data Service: Resources for EC831. Hersh Mann Senior Training and Support Officer. 5 November 2013 University of Essex. Overview. What kinds of data does the UK Data Service hold? How can I access data? Useful tips and resources Further help Questions ? .

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An introduction to the uk data service resources for ec831
An Introduction to the UK Data Service: Resources for EC831

Hersh Mann

Senior Training and Support Officer

5 November 2013

University of Essex


  • What kinds of data does the UK Data Service hold?

  • How can I access data?

  • Useful tips and resources

  • Further help

  • Questions?

Introduction to the UK Data Service

5 November2013

Uk data service
UK Data Service

Types of data collections
Types of data collections

  • Survey data

    • Cross-sectional

    • Panel / Longitudinal

  • Aggregate statistics

    • International macrodata

  • Census data

    • Aggregate data for 1971 -2011

    • Microdata for 1991and 2001 (2011 data are forthcoming)

  • Digitised text, visual and audio materials

Sources of data
Sources of data

  • Official agencies – mainly central government

  • International statistical time series

  • Research institutions

  • Individual academics - research grants

  • Market research agencies

  • Public records/historical sources

Key data uk surveys
Key data: UK surveys

  • Labour Force Survey

  • Health Survey for England/Wales/Scotland

  • General Household Survey/General Lifestyle Survey

  • Expenditure and Food Survey/Living Costs and Food Survey

  • Crime Survey for England and Wales

  • Family Resources Survey

  • ONS Omnibus/Opinions Survey

  • Survey of English Housing

  • British Social Attitudes Survey

  • National Travel Survey

Benefits of government surveys

Percentage of women aged 18-49 cohabiting, General Household Survey

Benefits of government surveys

  • Good quality data

  • - produced by experienced research organisations

  • - usually nationally representative with large samples

  • - good response rates

  • - very well documented

  • Continuous data

  • - allows comparison over time

  • - data is largely cross-sectional

  • Hierarchical data

  • - intra-household differences

  • - household effects on individuals

Survey microdata illustration
Survey microdata: illustration

Key data longitudinal panel studies
Key data: Longitudinal / Panel studies

  • National Child Development Study (NCDS)

  • 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)

  • Millennium Cohort Study (MCS)

  • British Household Panel Survey (BHPS)

  • Understanding Society (UKHLS)

  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

  • Growing Up in Scotland (GUS)

  • Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE)

Using longitudinal panel studies
Using longitudinal / panel studies

  • Longitudinal surveys involve repeated surveys of the same individuals at different points in time

  • Allow researchers to analyse change at the individual level. Cross-sectional data are ‘snapshots’ – do they

  • More complex to manage and analyse

    • File linkage across waves

British household panel survey
British Household Panel Survey

  • Collected and deposited by ISER, here at Essex

  • Follows the members of 5500 households first sampled in 1991 - interviews conducted annually

  • Panel survey, repeated questions allows change to be tracked

  • Coverage includes:

    income, labour market behaviour, social and

    political values, health, education, housing

    and household organisation

Understanding society
Understanding Society

  • The follow-up to the BHPS. Expanded to 40,000 households and 100,000 individuals including the original BHPS sample

  • Coverage includes:

    current employment and earnings; employment status; parenting and childcare arrangements; family networks; benefit payments; political party identification; household finances; environmental behaviours; consents to administrative data linkage (health and education).

  • Also incorporates an innovation panel

International macrodata i
International macrodata I

  • Aggregate or macrodata…are data that have been aggregated to a country or regional level. The interntaionalmacrodata sources we hold are typically produced by inter-governmental organisations like the UN or World Bank. All the aggregate databanks contain time series data.

Internationa l macrodata ii
International macrodata II

Regularly updated macro-economic time series datasets from selected major international statistical databanks that collectively chart over 50 years of global economic, industrial and political change:

  • International Monetary Fund

  • OECD

  • United Nations

  • World Bank

  • Eurostat

  • UK Office for National Statistics

International macrodata themes
International macrodata themes

Databanks cover:

  • economic performance and development

  • trade, industry and markets

  • employment

  • demography, migration and health

  • governance

  • human development

  • social expenditure

  • education

  • science and technology

  • land use and the environment

Macrodata an illustration
Macrodata: an illustration

Useful tips discover key data
Useful tips: Discover – key data

Data access
Data access

  • Web access to data and metadata

  • Data are freely available to students in higher education institutions

  • Data supplied in a variety of formats

    - statistical package formats (e.g. SPSS, STATA)

    - databases and spreadsheets

    - word processed documents, PDF documents etc.

Accessing data registration
Accessing data - registration

  • Click on the ‘login’ link on the UK Data Service homepage

  • Click on ‘login to the UK Data Service’

  • Find Essex in the list of institutions and proceed to the login page

  • Enter your Essex login details

  • Complete the registration form as a new user

  • Accept the End User Licence

  • Use the download/order link for the dataset you wish to access and create a project description

  • Download the data in your chosen format

Online analysis with nesstar
Online analysis with Nesstar

  • Online data browsing and analysis system

  • Allows users to search for, locate, browse and analyse and download a wide variety of statistical data within a web browser

  • UK Data Archive, as service provider for the UK Data Service, hosts a Nesstar server populated by its most popular data series

  • Registration is required for analysis such as crosstabulations and regressions


Esds nesstar catalogue
ESDS Nesstar catalogue

Useful tips advice for new users
Useful tips: Advice for new users

  • We have webpages for new users that provide information on

    • how to find data with our search application – Discover

    • how to register and access data

    • what kinds of data we hold

    • how you can get in touch?

Things to consider
Things to consider

  • Be realistic about what you can do

  • Think about the availability of data before embarking on a project

  • Have you used Discover to search for data?

  • The UK Data Service does not hold data on anything and everything. Consider whether the data you are interested in have been collected by someone? Do you know for sure? Would those data be deposited with the UK Data Service or elsewhere? Are those data available for secondary research?

  • Think early and contact us early if you need to

Other help and resources
Other help and resources

  • Have a query? See our help pages and FAQs

  • Contact us / follow us