The ABCs of DARs: Developing your PopData Data Access Request

The course is being delivered online.

Register NowThis FREE webinar-based training series takes place over three sessions.
Tuesday November 2nd | Thursday November 4th | Tuesday November 9th
1:00pm to 3:00pm PST each day


Population Data BC (PopData) provides access to a diverse range of data sets which may be linked together and used to answer a wide array of research questions. Data available through PopData offer a valuable opportunity to researchers; however, navigating the data access request (DAR) process, especially for the first time, can be a challenging undertaking.

The goals of the webinar-based course are to:

  • Introduce the tools and resources available to explore the data available through PopData
  • Highlight considerations for preparing your DAR including defining your cohort and selecting variables
  • Familiarize students with the DAR process including required approvals, costs, and timelines

The course will highlight the opportunities, challenges, and resources available at each step of the DAR process. Participants can expect to come away with a better understanding of the requirements and be better prepared for planning and submitting a DAR of their own.

Topics covered

Module 1 - Data available and resources to guide your Data Access Request (DAR)

  1.  What data are available through Population Data BC?
    • What is administrative data?
    • How are confidentiality and privacy maintained?
    • What projects are eligible for data access?
  2. What are Population Data BC key holdings 
    • What datasets are available?
    • What are the benefits and potential issues?
  3. What tools and resources are available to researchers to guide your Data Access Request?
    • Data Prospector BC
    • Metadata Central
    • BC Data ScoutTM

    Module 2 - Planning your DAR

    • How do we define our cohort?
      • What type of cohorts are available?
      • What are the common challenges for defining a cohort?
      • How can we use Population Data BC’s tools and resources to help us define our cohorts?
    • What variables should we request?
      • How can a statistical analysis plan (SAP) guide our variable selection?
      • What resources are available to help me develop a SAP?
    • What are common pitfalls?
      • How do we request the right variables?
      • What are some common data problems?
      • How do we anticipate and plan for problems?

    Module 3 - Preparing and submitting your DAR

    • What are the project eligibility requirements?
      • What projects are eligible?
      • What are the costs associated with a DAR?
      • How can students access data and when can they receive a waiver for fees?
    • What is the DAR process?
      • What are the steps to completing a DAR?
      • What steps can happen concurrently?
    • How do we use the DARonline?
      • Introduce and explore the DARonline and demonstrate its functionality
      • What are the common mistakes at each step of the DAR?
    • What happens after you submit?
      • How does the submission process work and how long does it take?
      • How do you track your DAR progress? (AppTracker)
      • When are amendments required and how much do they cost?

    This course is designed for:

    Researchers, students, and trainees who want to:

    • Discover the tools and resources available to explore the data available through Population Data BC for the purposes of future research
    • Learn more about the DAR process
    • Submit a DAR to Population Data BC

    Webinar-based course format

    The interactive Gotowebinar software will provide remote access for participants to view the instructor's screen and connect with the instructor in real time. Online tools such as BC Data ScoutTM, Data Prospector BC, Metadata Central and DARonline will be demonstrated and used during the session. No additional software is required.

    Course fees

    This webinar-based course is free of charge.

    Lead Facilitator

    Tim ChoiTim Choi is the Data Partnerships Lead at PopData. For over ten years, Tim has worked extensively with researchers and data providers facilitating data access in BC and has developed a strong connection with the research community. He works with the Data Access Unit to provide ongoing support and guidance to researchers throughout the complete data access lifecycle. This support includes, initial project planning and submission of data access requests to execution of agreements, data preparation, dissemination of results, and project closure. Tim also works closely with Data Stewards and co-chairs the Data Stewards Working Group, where processes and policies for data access are developed.

    Tim holds a Master of Arts in Linguistics and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Economics from Simon Fraser University. He is currently completing a certificate program in Privacy, Access, and Information Management at Ryerson University.


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