Swansea hosts international population data linkage conference

Over 450 data scientists from 20 countries spread across 6 continents are heading to Swansea to take part in a week-long international conference that showcases cutting-edge developments in the field of population data linkage research.

The International Population Data Linkage Conference 2016 (IPDLC 2016), held at Swansea University Bay Campus from 22-26 August. sees researchers, policy makers, practitioners, regulators and data guardians from across the globe come together to discuss research using linked data and best practice on the theme of ‘Linking Data – Improving Lives’.  

400 x 300IPDLC 2016 is organised by the International Population Data Linkage Network (IPDLN), a global organisation that facilitates communication between centres that specialise in data linkage.

‌The conference is organised in collaboration with leading UK research entities: The Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research and the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN). The conference will be hosted by the SAIL Databank at Swansea University.

IPDLC 2016 begins with two days of pre-c‌onference workshops featuring a PhD and early career researcher Summer School with the main conference running from Wednesday 24 to Friday 26 August.

Featuring a number of eminent globally recognised keynote speakers detailing the data linkage advancements in their countries, the main conference will also include a further 330 presentations over the three days consisting of a combination of oral & rapid fire presentations and innovative multi-media poster presentations. 

Every two years, directorship of the IPDLN moves. For 2015-16 the role is occupied by Professor David Ford, Director of the SAIL Databank and the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN).

The Great Hall‌Picture:  The Great Hall at Swansea University Bay Campus, venue for the conference

Speaking ahead of the conference, Professor David Ford of Swansea University said:

“This event builds upon a history of IPDLN conferences across the globe and it is both an honour and a privilege for Swansea to host it this year.

Wales, a small nation, has distinguished itself both in the UK and internationally, by being at the forefront of developments in secure data linkage research for a number of years.

This year’s conference has been influenced significantly by the data linkage landscape in the UK and the research entities that we are proud to have here.

Working together with our fellow colleagues we have created a conference that will provide opportunities to learn of the exciting advances, techniques and approaches taken by others in a highly stimulating, informative and useful programme of scientific talks, rapid fire sessions and multi-media poster presentations, and to collaborate globally within the data linkage community.”

Bay CampusPicture: Swansea University Bay Campus

The IPDLN facilitates communication between centres that specialise in data linkage and users of the linked data. Data linkage is the secondary use of linked administrative data and is an invaluable tool for population research that provides an unbiased picture of the entire population and allows for research to be carried out that can have a positive impact on citizens and society that would not otherwise be possible without the techniques of data linkage. 

Data linkage utilises pioneering technology to develop infrastructures and analytical solutions to manage, curate and provide secure access to big data using proportionate control measures for data privacy and utility.