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Accessing and Using ESDS Government surveys


Title: Using secondary data in research and teaching Author: CCSR FSSL Last modified by: u208024 Created Date: 9/1/2003 5:39:01 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Accessing and Using ESDS Government surveys

Accessing and Using ESDS Government surveys
  • Vanessa Higgins
  • ESDS Government
  • Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR)
  • University of Manchester

My mission
  • Intro to Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS)
    and how we can help you
  • What data is available and what it is like
  • Registration and access
  • Issues when using the data

ESDS Government
  • ESDS began in Jan 03 and comprises 4 specialist
  • ESDS Government
  • ESDS Longitudinal
  • ESDS Qualidata
  • ESDS International
  • ESDS Government services are split between too
    organisations UKDA and CCSR at University of
    Manchester (headed by Prof Angela Dale)
  • ESDS Government provides
  • access to the key large-scale government surveys
    such as Labour Force Survey, Expenditure and Food
    Survey (UKDA)
  • user support for the key large-scale
  • government surveys (CCSR)

User support- some of the things we do!
  • Helpdesk (FAQs and notes)
  • Survey pages incl. how to get started, news etc
  • User Group seminars
  • Workshops and events
  • Publications Database
  • Usage details
  • Teaching datasets
  • Derived variables
  • Online guides SPSS, STATA, Weighting,
    Employment Research, Health Research, Social
    Capital, Data Sources for Scotland
  • Newsletter and Jisclist
  • Theme each year
  • Employment (2003)
  • Health (2004)
  • Social capital (2005)
  • Ethnicity (2006)

Which surveys do we support?
  • General Household Survey
  • Labour Force Survey
  • Annual Population Survey
  • Family Resources Survey
  • Expenditure and Food Survey (previously the
    National Food Survey and Family Expenditure
  • ONS Omnibus Survey
  • National Travel Survey
  • Time Use Survey
  • Survey of English Housing (England only)
  • Health Survey for England/Wales/Scotland
  • British Crime Survey/Scottish Crime Survey
  • British Social Attitudes/Scottish Social
    Attitudes/Northern Ireland Life Times/Young
    Peoples Social Attitudes

Integrated Household Survey (Continuous
Population Survey)
  • Will bring together
  • Labour Force Survey
  • Annual Population Survey
  • General Household Survey
  • Expenditure and Food Survey
  • Omnibus Survey
  • Expected to start c. 2008
  • Materials on our website
  • IHS Consultation Meeting 23rd January 2006

ESDS Government Surveys
  • Microdata
  • Sample data (large samples)
  • Nationally representative within the UK (some
    files cover only part of UK)
  • Most focus in-depth on a topic (exception GHS)
  • Mainly cross-sectional (exceptions GHSL, LFS,
  • Mainly face to face (some telephone)
  • Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)
  • Some are household surveys, some one person
  • Many are continuous
  • Good quality data (ONS, NatCen)
  • Good response rates
  • Many have hierarchical data
  • Important for policy makers
  • Excellent sources for secondary analysts
  • Free!

Hierarchical data
  • Other levels benefit unit, event

Choosing a dataset for research
  • Is secondary analysis appropriate?
  • And has someone already done the analysis for
  • Check published reports.
  • Which datasets cover your main topic?
  • Which other topics are you interested in?
  • Measurement over time
  • Geography
  • Respondents whole household, children?
  • Sample size
  • This information will be in the documentation
  • To help with the decision
  • ESDS Getting Started guides
  • ESDS topic guides

  • All users can access study descriptions, online
    documentation, including questionnaires, free of
    charge without registering with ESDS
  • In order to access the datasets you need to
    register with ESDS
  • Register online using your ATHENS username and
  • Simple online form, takes about 10 minutes
  • You need to register a usage of the data as part
    of this process
  • Non-commercial users free of charge
  • Commercial users 500 Charge for per study and
    will need to apply for ATHENs username and
  • You need to agree to the End User Licence when
  • you register

The End User Licence
  • We need to know who you are, how to contact you
    and what you are using the data for
  • Agree not to attempt to identify individuals
  • Only use the data for your stated purpose (you
    can re-register if you want to use the data for
    another use)
  • Do not pass the data to unregistered parties
    (that includes deleting the data before passing
    on PCs!)
  • Tell us if you publish using the data
  • Some more sensitive or detailed datasets require
    more stringent licensing procedures
  • Special conditions British Crime Survey
  • Special licences Annual Population Survey and
    Labour Force Survey at the moment

Special Licences
  • Agreement between ONS and ESDS
  • Data where the disclosure risk is deemed too high
    for standard dissemination methods. E.g.
  • Local authority level microdata
  • Month of birth
  • Paper application procedure
  • Need to agree to stringent data stewardship
  • Required to read the guide to good practice
  • Application has to be approved by ONS
  • Annual Population Survey and Labour Force
  • Survey at the moment but hope to roll out
  • to other surveys

Registering the data for teaching
  • If all students are registered ESDS users, you
    should register a new use of data, tick teaching
    only and add the name of each student to the
    usage details
  • If students are not registered ESDS users a paper
    form can be used for teaching
  • Lecturer takes responsibility for the class
  • Students simply fill their details in on a paper
  • Return form to the UK Data Archive

Obtaining data once registered
  • Choice of downloading entire files
  • SPSS, Stata, tab delimited formats for most files
  • Comes zipped up with documentation
  • Or explore the data and download subsets in
    Nesstar (c. 200 files in this format including
    most of the Government surveys)
  • Allows you to explore metadata without being
  • Can do basic exploratory analyses (including OLS)
    online without downloading files
  • Can define subsets to download in a wider range
    of formats including SAS

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Good practice some pointers
  • Irresponsible use threatens future access keep
    data secure
  • You wont understand the data unless you consult
    the documentation!
  • Using the correct files
  • Preparing the variable for analysis
  • Consider the impact of the sample design
  • Sample data has sample error small cell counts
    are likely to be unreliable
  • Will the sampling design affect the standard
  • Does weighting need to be applied to avoid bias?
  • Do you need to combining datasets for larger
  • Getting started guides, stats guides and topic
    guides are available on the ESDS site
  • Contact helpdesk if you have any problems or find
    errors in the data
  • User groups and news lists can help keep you
  • Published results from surveys and published
  • articles that have used the surveys
  • Survey Link Scheme can attend an interview
  • http//

Some other useful resources
  • Question Bank
  • Linked to from ESDS
  • Contains searchable questionnaires for major
  • Contains articles about major topics/concepts
  • Runs the survey link scheme
  • http//
  • PEAS (Practical Exemplars on the Analysis of
  • Contains learning materials on the impact of
    survey design on analysis (e.g. weighting and
    complex sample designs)
  • Uses the government surveys as exemplars
  • http//
  • ONS website contains published reports,
    methodology etc.
  • http//

The important last slide
  • Helpdesk
  • (0161)275 1980
  • Website
  • http//
  • JISCmail