Anonymising Your Data
Researchers are able to bring their own data into the Analysis Environment, provided it is anonymised. The Data Portal offers a Data Linkage service which uses sophisticated, deterministic and probabilistic matching technologies to create de-identified, analysis-ready data.
Supporting files and already anonymised data can be uploaded through the Analysis Portal. If data anonymisation is required, please request it during the application process.
How are the data anonymised?
Datasets are split into:
- a demographic component (comprising commonly-recognised identifiers), and
- a clinical or event component (such as medication records and procedures).
- The demographic component is transported to a Trusted Third Party (TTP) - NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS), whilst the clinical component goes to the DPUK servers using a web based secure file upload and switching service.
- The TTP anonymise and encrypt the demographic data which is then subjected to quality assurance to ensure content anonymity. Each individual record is assigned an Anonymous Linking Field (ALF) or a Residential Anonymous Linking Field (RALF) for places of residence.
- These anonymised demographic elements of the datasets are then sent to DPUK ready to be loaded. They contain only the ALF, week of birth, gender code and area of residence (Lower Super Output Area of approximately 1500 head of population). They are then recombined with the clinical/event component of the dataset making them ready for linkage to other datasets for use.