Widening CBS Microdata Access

The use of the Statistics Netherlands secure Microdata Services Facility has been growing rapidly and this is anticipated to continue over the coming years within the context of ODISSEI. Statistics Netherlands’ Microdata Services Facility was started more than fifteen years ago as a small-scale service to selected researchers. It has now become a standard facility for an extended research community. For that reason, the facility has been included in the Dutch national landscape of research infrastructures. The Microdata Services Facility has grown such that it requires the direction and investment of the research community to fulfil its potential. For example, requirements for regular (i.e. non-supercomputer) computation and associated services are increasing to a level that can no longer be supplied independently by Statistics Netherlands. The research community requires services and infrastructure beyond the remit of Statistics Netherlands. To address this, ODISSEI will create a more comprehensive and sustainable basis for linkage of administrative microdata, at the levels of IT infrastructure, tooling, and data stewardship.

ODISSEI provides additional data stewardship via experts at Statistics Netherlands. The data stewardship will be provided to projects selected through open calls via the Microdata Access Program which will be administered by the Coordination Team at EUR, for both the Statistics Netherlands Microdata Services Facility and ODISSEI Secure Supercomputer. Due to the growing complexity of both research data and the various analytical tools, leaving it to researchers to find their way through the administrative data catalogue and range of available compute options is becoming increasingly inefficient. Support from substantive data experts, data analysts, and technical consultants is required. Data stewards will be involved in the support of individual research projects but will also be available as a help desk.

In addition, ODISSEI integrates Statistics Netherlands tools, both existing and to be further developed, into the ODISSEI Portal. The correct, efficient, and fast linking of large microdata sets is not easy for every researcher. This phase of the research cycle would therefore benefit strongly from flexible, easy-to-handle tools. In Statistics Netherlands internally, the SSD (System of Social Statistical Datasets) includes sets of tools for the flexible selection and linkage of populations and variables by Statistics Netherlands employees. The proposed project will explore and test whether this facility can be used in the Microdata Services Facility for external users, as it is.

Status: CBS Microdata and the related ODISSEI grants are available for usage. Other elements are under development and will be delivered constantly.

Project team Widening CBS Microdata Access: Annette Scherpenzeel (CBS – Task Leader), John Kartopawiro (CBS).

Questions? Contact Kasia Karpinska (ODISSEI Coordination Team).