ONS launches data platform for researchers

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has launched the first stage of the Integrated Data Service (IDS), a cloud-based platform designed to give analysts and researchers greater access to data from a range of sources.

The private beta version will allow a selection of government analysts to compare and combine data held by the ONS and other departments, helping them to utilise the full potential of data, inform policy decisions, and encourage collaboration across government.

A public beta, which will be available to accredited researchers outside of government, will be introduced next spring.

"The Integrated Data Service is a crucial part of our National Data Strategy and will make it easier and quicker for policy makers to access robust evidence for making the decisions that can improve the lives of people across the country,” said Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport minister for state Julia Lopez. "Unlocking the power of data will boost the economy, create jobs and help us build back better from the pandemic.”

Three projects have been selected for the private beta platform, they will focus on wage growth, energy efficiency, and regional issues.

“The Integrated Data Service will provide the public sector with secure access to high-quality data for better research and analysis,” commented Joanna Davinson, executive director at the Central Digital and Data Office. “This is aligned to our vision of having increased availability of data for decision-makers to ensure more data driven policies.

"In this way, we can enable transformation of the Government’s use of data and support the delivery of efficient public services for users.”

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