How much data to request

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Researchers can request as much data as required to complete a research project. However, the more complex a request, the longer it will take for the Data Steward(s) to review and approve it, the longer it will take Population Data BC (PopData) staff to prepare data, and the higher the cost.

According to the principles of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Data Access Request (DAR) has been designed to help Researchers determine the minimum amount of data necessary to complete their research. The DAR specifically addresses what research data are needed, given a particular cohort definition.

Where there is some ambivalence about the design of a cohort, Researchers are encouraged to request something reasonably broad so that they can test the effect that different assumptions have on the composition of their study group.

The selection of data fields in the extract, however, must be restrictive. There is no reason, for example, to request a data field for physician numbers if it is clear that physician-specific analysis is not required to answer the research question.


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Page last revised: September 16, 2014