Summing up 2016: PopData's year in numbers

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Date posted: 
Thursday, January 19, 2017

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We currently employ 22 people

  • Full time: 15
  • Part time: 7
  • A combined total of 151 years of working with data!


New in 2016:

  • Perinatal Services BC
  • BC Generations Project
  • National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS)


  • At the end of 2016 we were managing 100 active research projects

of which were student projects




  • 2016 figures brings the number of projects we have facilitated to over 400
  • There are 1,144 research outputs on our website from 269 PopData projects


  • 25 new Data Access Requests (DARs) submitted to Data Stewards
  • Project amendments submitted to Data Stewards:  46
  • 60 applications for project extensions submitted to Data Stewards

  • The application to approval time for most projects continued to improve, but averages were affected by an increase in the number of complex projects involving multiple Data Stewards, some requring new ISA's as we were working with them for the first time


  • We have produced 26 linked data collections
  • We have made 1,071 documentation edits
  • Data summaries and validations applied: 12,458


  • The number of checklist data fields available to researchers is ...
  • Bring your own data! - 41% of projects approved last year involved linkage to researcher-collected data
  • We prepared and released 56 data extracts to researchers
  • 42 crosswalk/linkage files were prepared for external data providers




  • Maintained a suite of 24 analytical software programs and 12 utilities
  • Resolved 1855 support tickets
  • 870 unique sessions on the SRE were initiated              

  • On average 247 files were imported and 2032 files were exported per month             

  • Of the imported and exported files an average of 522 files per month were flagged and examined

  • The SRE was up for 99.99% of the year


  • At the end of the year there were 17.4 terrabytes of data in researcher project folders on the SRE, that's like ...




  • 179 researchers took our Privacy Training programme
  • We have 35 core policies and procedures for operations and data security


  • 12 Universal Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs) with core Data Partners
  • Stand alone agreements with 25 Data Steward organizations


Total courses offered:

  • 6 PHDA Certificate
  • 1 webinar
  • 1 in-person workshop
  • 7 free online courses


  • 399 people took our free online courses
  • In- person workshop attendees: 18
  • Webinar participants: 14
  • Selected courses were open to international participants for the first time


Partnership with the new Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation (PAFCF), providing privacy and research facilitation expertise. We are working together to ensure that PAFCF establishes best practices for consent and data handling that will enable future research uses of data, including linkage to other sources.

This project is being funded by PAFCF and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


The BC SUPPORT Unit is a multi-partner organization to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout BC.

In 2016 PopData has been involved in the start-up of the BC SUPPORT Unit, including:

  • Kim McGrail named as data lead for the Unit
  • PopData responsible for data plan development in collaboration with other data partners. This includes establishing and providing secretariat support for a Data Advisory Committee.
  • Central implementation roles on BC Data Scout and the Streamlining and Direct Access projects
  • Project management, support and leadership roles in several other projects

CIHR Public Engagement Grant

Start-up of a public engagement initiative around access to a broader array of linked data, including biospecimens, funded through a CIHR grant (PI: Kim McGrail, Co-Is Michael Burgess, Kieran O’Doherty and Suzanne Vercauteran).

Other collaborations

Ongoing conversations and information sharing with the BC government Centre for Data Innovation initiative.

Developing collaborations with other data units across the country and with international colleagues through the International Population Data Linkage Network.


Page last revised: February 21, 2017