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Perspectives on Data Linkage - Techniques, Challenges and Applications Open for Business Event

When Sep 16, 2016
from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge
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Data linkage is the process of identifying and linking records about the same entity across one or more databases. However, there are benefits as well as challenges associated with data linkage. For instance, enabling linkage between two or more sources of information can help maximise the value of research data, as well as adding high value to existing surveys and effectively creating new data resources. Policy decisions and much scientific research hinge on accurate and comprehensive data and those who are linking data want to do more. However, there are difficulties in defining boundaries around what is technically possible, what is legally permitted, and what should be done ethically. Indeed, linking data can also compromise the privacy of an individual's personal information, making them identifiable, even though their information had been anonymised.

In recent years there has been increased interest from businesses and Governments in data linkage. There are a number of reasons for this, such as the exponential growth in data collected, the need to integrate data from different sources, effective data mining to analyse large data collections and the growth in data mining and web applications. However, various challenges need to be overcome, such as ethical issues, complex technical requirements and balancing the drive for automation against the need for human judgement. This workshop, part of the Isaac Newton Institute research programme on Data Linkage and Anonymisation, therefore seeks to bring together experts and stakeholders to investigate the development of techniques for the safer linkage and merging of data.

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Aims and Objectives

The overall aim of this workshop on data linkage is to strongly encourage interaction between participants from different disciplines, to facilitate cross-disciplinary learning and to set an agenda of the big challenges in the area of data linkage. Topics to be covered and discussed will range from computational and statistical aspects of data linkage, to privacy and confidentiality and application case-studies and examples.

The programme of talks will highlight developments in state-of-the-art techniques such as:

  • Privacy preserving probabilistic record linkage
  • Deterministic linkage
  • Computer science approaches
  • Synthetic data

The programme will also investigate challenges in the context of various applications with perspectives from both researchers and end-users, who will focus on highlighting methodologies and techniques, software/systems used and what works/doesn't work.

This event will be of interest to individuals from a number of areas including:

  • Biomedical and health research
  • Social and economic research
  • Government, policy makers, regulatory authorities and statisticians
  • Commercial organisations in the financial and retail sectors, and others


A provisional programme is now available.


Registration and Venue

Registration is free of charge. Please use this link to register your interest.

The workshop will take place at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge. Please see the link for directions to the venue.




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