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Linking data about people from multiple sources can tell a bigger story than analysing data from just one source.
For example, comparing the data on women who received the HPV vaccination with data on women who developed cervical cancer showed that overall, the vaccination was effective in reducing cervical cancer.
Used synonymously with 'data integration' and 'record matching', data linking or linkage refers to the bringing together of information from more than one source that relates to the same individual or institution.
Data linkage can really make a difference to the health and wellbeing of all Australians by painting a bigger picture. It's cost-effective (by re-using data that's already collected) and non-intrusive (you don't have to contact the people again whose information has already been collected).
The AIHW can provide researchers and policy-makers with secure access to data to investigate vital health topics.
Services include routine data linkage to our own datasets (especially the National Death Index and Australian Cancer Database) through to more complex data integration with other datasets not necessarily held by the AIHW.
All data linkage projects that involve AIHW data can only be undertaken with the approval of the independent AIHW Ethics Committee (further information: Data governance framework).
As an accredited Integrating Authority, we can undertake high-risk projects for researchers that draw information from Australian, state and territory governments while maintaining individual privacy and confidentiality. We have legislation that enables us to release data, as well as the technical capability and governance to do it safely and securely.
We also offer data cleaning services to enhance data linkage and quality. We can provide statistical and analytical services for integrated data as well as other datasets.
We provide data linkage services on a cost recovery basis in accordance with Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines. Costing details for data linkage services can be requested at any time. These can be indicative budget estimates in the early stages to assist with planning funding and budgeting. Before undertaking your linkage we will provide you a detailed firm quotation. Depending on the complexity of your project, a fully itemised quotation, detailed work order, service schedule, memorandum of understanding or contract will be provided.
Email the AIHW Data Integration Services Centre (