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Why link data?

Data linkage allows for better research and statistics to be undertaken through:
• complex analysis of issues affecting society
• developing more accurate and more reliable data
• enhancing the quality and consistency of existing data
• maximising the value of existing data (linking two existing datasets to answer new research questions and provide new statistics) 
• increasing capacity to accurately evaluate public sector programmes
• providing a strong evidence base to support public policy and strategic planning, spending and delivery decisions
• low-cost longitudinal studies to analyse past trends and forecast future scenarios
• reducing respondent burden and costs of surveys (the public are not continuously being asked for information which they have already provided)

Data linkage has the potential to improve quality of life for the people of Scotland through the development of better informed policy. This supports the quick and efficient identification and delivery of targeted services, for example in healthcare, housing and education.

Continual improvements in legal and ethical data linkage and analytics activity will secure Scotland’s world-class reputation as a hub of innovation and powerful statistical research in the current global data revolution. It will also enhance Scotland’s reputation for the safe, secure and transparent use of data, rapidly translating our strengths into benefits for citizens, businesses and communities, locally and globally, supporting sustainable economic growth.