For over 20 years, Population Data BC (PopData) has been providing academic researchers with a range of services supporting access to a comprehensive collection of population health data, including health services, education, workplace and environmental data. These data sets, many dating back to 1985, include longitudinal, person-specific, de-identified data on BC's 5 million residents.
Researchers who access data to study population health have produced many outstanding contributions to scientific knowledge and to policy-making for healthier communities.
PopData facilitates access to data from our partners, including both federal and provincial sources. We also support the development and delivery of the BC Ministry of Health's Health Data Platform (HDP).
Categories of data currently available include:
Environment & Resources
Work & Income
Our Data Access Unit manages and coordinates the PopData/HDP data access process for Researchers. This includes providing:
- Co-ordination of the process, including guidance, support, and advice when applying to access our managed data holdings and/or link them to other data sets (including Researcher-collected data)
- A streamlined, harmonized and transparent access procedure for applying for data from multiple Data Stewards
- A range of online tools and resources for Researchers for use at different stages of the data access process.
Linkage allows information on an individual from one data source to be linked to information on the same individual from another data source. Using linked data makes it possible for Researchers to gain a more comprehensive understanding than could be obtained from a single data source.
Our approach to data linkage allows for security and consistency in the linking of data across multiple data sets, disciplinary areas, time periods and projects, resulting in a high-quality research product. We currently provide linkage services to PopData partners and to the BC government’s Data Innovation Program and Health Data Platform (HDP).
The Secure Research Environment (SRE) is a secure private cloud operated by PopData using state-of-the-art security measures. The SRE provides Researchers with a central virtual location for access to and analysis of research data, secure storage and backup of data extracts, and a broad range of software.
Responding to the training and education needs of British Columbia's researchers, our Education and Training Unit (ETU) is an analysis training centre supporting research on human health, well-being and development.
The ETU provides a range of online courses and resources (many of which are free), webinars, in-person workshops and a fully-online Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis.
We operate one of the most secure data storage centres in Canada.
For Researchers who don't access data through us, but need to store sensitive personal information (e.g. health records), we offer CaraSpace.
CaraSpace is a secure private cloud, providing a safe, secure place for Researchers to store and analyse their data, while ensuring that privacy-sensitive data remains protected.