The International Population Data Linkage Network (IPDLN) 2022 Conference has kicked off to a successful start in Edinburgh, with a rich variety of speeches and workshops.
Running from Wednesday 7 – Friday 9 September, the conference brings together researchers, analysts and data professionals from around the world. So far, over 400 delegates have attended from 15 countries, with even more joining the sessions remotely.
ADR UK is directing IPDLN for 2021 – 2022. The Network is co-directed by Dr Emma Gordon, Director of ADR UK, and Professor Chris Dibben, Co-Director of ADR Scotland.
Wednesday opened with a keynote speech from Professor Stefan Bender, Head of the Research Data and Service Centre at the Deutsche Bundesbanke, Germany. He discussed the importance of trusted research environments and the Five Safes Framework, and the impact of data research in informing better policy.
Stefan said: “My keynote speech took the conference theme “Informing Policy and Practice” and set it into relation to what the Research Data and Service Centre at Bundesbank is doing. Sharing data should include a cost-benefit analysis. You want to maximise the benefit, for example with data recommendations, a data network or a dataset impact factor.
“It’s also important that we lower costs for the researcher and the data provider in three dimensions: process, documentation, automation. Examples from the presentation gave some insights into how information can be transformed into knowledge for the good of society.”
Throughout the week, delegates are choosing from a variety of workshops and discussions to explore the themes of the conference. The sessions cover a wide range of topics, from data linkage to better understand different communities, to informing health policy, to public engagement across the world. With so many different industries represented across the field of data science, the parallel sessions present an opportunity for participants to share knowledge and exchange ideas, with the ultimate aim of using data research to inform policy and practice.
Dr Pia Hardelid is a UCL researcher who is leading a new ADR UK-funded project focusing on the impact of environments on children’s health and education. She said: “It’s been a really nice opportunity for people who haven’t spoken or asked questions at conferences before to have that experience in a friendly environment.”
Wednesday afternoon included a keynote speech from Hans-Erik G. Aronson, Director of Phase 1 of the DARE UK (Data and Analytics Research Environments UK) programme. Funded by UK Research and Innovation, DARE UK aims to design and deliver a more coordinated national data research infrastructure for the UK. The programme has recently published a summary of findings and recommendations from the first phase of work.
The IPDLN 2022 Conference programme of events for today and Friday is equally exciting, with keynote speeches from international visitors including Dr Mauricio Barreto and Professor Linnet Taylor, as well as speakers from the UK including Rachel Plachcinski and Professor Sir Ian Diamond.
The remaining days will also include plenty of further discussions, including several presentations from ADR UK researchers.
Alastair McAlpine, Co-Director of ADR Scotland said: “I think it’s been a fantastic opportunity to bring people from across the world together, all trying to do better things with data. The session I was hosting was specifically about how we do data linkage better. There are so many reasons why we need to share these stories, so we can all become more efficient and help researchers get access to the data that we hold in government.”
Are you attending the conference? Share your reflections and photos on Twitter or LinkedIn using the hashtag #IPDLN2022.