The Data Innovation Program

The Data Innovation Program is a data integration and analytics program for government. While every BC ministry collects and manages its own data, the Data Innovation Program can securely link and de-identify data from multiple ministries, giving government analysts a better understanding of BC’s complex issues.

The program supports population-level analysis, not individual or case-level analysis, unlocking the potential for new insights that lead to better programs and services for British Columbians.

Through the Data Innovation Program, existing data sets from various ministries or agencies are linked and de-identified in a secure platform (known as a secure research environment) to support specific population-level research projects. These projects aim to better understand trends and complex issues in BC.

Population Data BC is working in partnership with the Data Innovation Program, for example by providing data linkage, data management and secure data storage services.

Current Data Innovation Program projects are listed below. For further information on the Data Innovation Program go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/data/about-data-management/data-innovation-program.

Current projects

The following projects have been approved for access to data within the Data Innovation Program. To be approved, projects must meet the strict conditions detailed in the program’s privacy and security framework. All projects are using de-identified, population-level data.

Ministry of Children and Family Development

In Care Network for Children and Youth in Care

The Ministry of Children and Family Development is undertaking an integrated data project to better understand the needs of children and youth under the guardianship of the Ministry, now and in the future. Descriptive statistics derived from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education data will be used to provide insight on children and youth’s needs. This insight will subsequently be used to better support populations of children and youth while they are in care by providing better informed services and supports, as well as improving access to appropriate services, where and when they are needed.

Lead: Scott MacIsaac, A/Manager, Economic Analysis and Research, Ministry of Children and Family Development

Linked data sets:

  • Ministry of Health (General Practitioners and Specialists, Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and Prescriptions)
  • Ministry of Education (K-12 Education)
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development (Children and Youth in Care)

Ministry of Citizens' Services

Leaning more about Data Innovation Program data sets and developing analytical tools

Through this project, the ministry’s data scientists and data science fellows aim to learn more about the de-identified data collected and used under the Data Innovation Program so they can improve the program’s analytic concepts, policies, services and technology. The program supports government in understanding B.C.’s complex issues, helping to generate an evidence base for decision-making, which can ultimately lead to better programs and services for citizens. This project aligns with the ministry’s 2019/20 service plan: the strategy to establish and promote data-driven partnerships across government.

Lead: Cindy Wang, Senior Policy Analyst, Digital Platforms and Data Division

Linked data sets

  • Advanced education
  • Children and families
  • Education
  • Health (Vital Statistics, mental health services, hospital patient data, MSP registration and premium billing, national ambulatory care reporting system, PharmaNet registration and prescription information)
  • Public safety and solicitor general
  • Statistsics Canada (income data)

Insights for enhancing policy and services for children and youth who experience mental health problems

The Ministry of Citizens’ Service and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions are undertaking a cross-government partnership to use integrated data to understand population-level patterns in how children and youth who experience mental health challenges access services across government and how those services affect them into adulthood. 

Lead: Dan MacKenzie, Director of Data Insights, Digital Platforms and Division, Ministry of Citizens' Services

Linked data sets:

  • Ministry of Health (General Practitioners and Specialists, Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and Prescriptions)
  • Ministry of Education (K-12 Education)
  • Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General (Adult Corrections)
  • Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (Employment and Income Assistance)

Ministry of Education

Linking K-12 education to adult outcomes

The Ministry of Education is undertaking a series of research projects to understand how a student’s experience in school (kindergarten to grade 12) impacts their life afterwards, such as interacting with labour market programming or apprenticeship training. At a glance, the path looks different for everybody. But can a pattern be found in how students experience K-12 and their outcomes as adults? In this project, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General seek to understand population-level patterns between students’ demographics and educational experience (including academic performance and attendance) and their later-in-life outcomes, starting with time spent in the corrections system. If a pattern does emerge from the data, it may be possible for educators and policy-makers to put supports, resources and services in place to better help direct students/children to a healthier path in life, away from the criminal justice system.

The project team includes staff from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Lead: Brett Wilmer, Director, Education Economics Branch, Ministry of Education

Linked data sets:

  • Ministry of Education (K-12 Education)
  • Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General (Adult Corrections)

Identification of students with special needs by schools and healthcare data

The Ministry of Education is undertaking an integrated data project to investigate the relationship between a school districts’ special needs diagnosis and students’ administrative health records. Insights from this study will benefit the public by informing whether predictive insight into the incidence of new students coming into the education system with special needs is available through using administrative data from the health system.

Lead: Brett Wilmer, Director, Education Economics Branch, Ministry of Education

Linked data sets:

  • Ministry of Health (General Practitioners and Specialists, Hospitals, and Prescriptions)
  • Ministry of Education (K-12 Education)

Ministry of Health 

Improving health outcomes through attachment to a primary care provider

This project will link Ministry of Health data with socio-economic data from other ministries in order to learn more about the characteristics of people who do not have a primary care provider (“unattached”). This analysis will guide the development of processes and policies that support and encourage primary care relationships – helping to improve health outcomes for British Columbians. This project aligns with the ministry’s commitment to advancing B.C.’s health services to ensure British Columbians are supported in their efforts to maintain and improve their health. The project also helps deliver a current government initiative to implement Primary Care Networks to improve access to and the delivery of primary care across the province.

Project lead: Eric Larson, Executive Director, Integrated Analytics: Primary Care, Acute Care and Workforce, Health Sector Information Analysis and Reporting, Ministry of Health

Linked datasets:

  • Advanced education
  • Children and families
  • Education
  • Health (Vital Statistics, mental health services, hospital patient discharge data, MSP registration and premium billing, national ambulatory care reporting system, PharmaNet registration and prescription information)
  • Social development and poverty reduction
  • Statistics Canada (income data)

Health Trajectories

The Ministry of Health is undertaking an integrated data project that examines the relationship between citizens’ characteristics at birth and educational attainment. The findings of this work will help inform decisions on health intervention policies to better support at risk children and youth.

Lead: William Warburton, contractor, Ministry of Health

Linked data sets:

  • Ministry of Health (General Practitioners and Specialists, Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and Prescriptions)
  • Ministry of Education (K-12 Education)

Ministry of Social Development 

Basic Income Study

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction is undertaking an integrated data project to characterize the income, health and other outcomes for groups in or near poverty. The data will also be used to examine the effectiveness of previous policies in BC that share elements of a basic income.

Lead: Robert Bruce, Executive Director, Research Branch, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Linked data sets:

  • Ministry of Health (General Practitioners and Specialists, Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and Prescriptions)
  • Ministry of Education (K-12 Education)
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development (Children and Youth in Care)
  • Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General (Adult Corrections)
  • Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (Employment and Income Assistance)
  • Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (Labour Market Programming)

 


Page last revised: November 28, 2019