BC Data Scout

BC Data ScoutTM is BC’s first data feasibility service and one of the initial data services to be offered by the BC SUPPORT Unit. It is the result of collaborative efforts between PopData and the BC Ministry of Health.

BC Data ScoutTM is a data query service intended to provide cohort information in the form of highly aggregated, approximate results to researchers who are planning a study using Ministry of Health Data. The information provided in the report output is intended to be complete enough to determine the feasibility of a study, but not detailed enough to answer research questions, or replace the need for a full Data Access Request (DAR).

Check out the video below for an overview of the service and how it works. 



The video below provides a more in-depth explanation of how the tool works.


The video below contains a system demo.


The video below outlines what you can expect in the report output.




Per Section 5 of the Research Data Access Framework (RDAF), “A researcher is: Either a student, teacher, or other individual enrolled, appointed or employed by any of the following:

  • A university, where the university status is defined under the BC University Act
  • A college, university college or provincial institute as defined under the Colleges and Institute Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 52
  • The Open Learning Agency as continued under the Open Learning Agency Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 34
  • Royal Roads University continued under the Royal Roads University Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 409
  • Another equivalent educational institution in another jurisdiction outside BC but within Canada”

Student Researcher

A student researcher of a Canadian University or equivalent institution per the University Act. Student Researchers MUST be affiliated with a Canadian academic principal investigator.

Member of a Research Team

A member of a research team that may be employed by or affiliated with a research or public institution including Health Authorities and Public Service Agencies. This category of user will have their account linked to the Principal Investigator of the project or program under which they are working. Members of a research team MUST be affiliated with a Canadian academic principal investigator.

Use of report output

The report output is intended for the purpose of assisting in the preparatory stages of research and is subject to the restrictions as outlined below including pre-approved uses of the output; use of the information that may require additional approval or vetting; and, prohibited uses or restrictions.

Pre-approved uses

  • Research study feasibility assessment.
  • Report output may be used in related research tasks such as a grant application to established not-for-profit funding agencies in BC or Canada.

Use requiring approval

Publications that use or are produced as a result of the report output will require vetting in advance of disclosure. For example, inclusion of gross epidemiologic estimates and trends for paragraph 1 of a paper.

Use of the output or portions thereof should follow the existing pre-publication review process outlined in the following link: https://www.popdata.bc.ca/dataaccess/process/analysis/publishing_research_materials and should include appropriate acknowledgement and disclaimer language. Note that BC Data Scout™ specific disclaimer requirement and data source citation language can be found below.

Prohibited uses

  • This system was not designed, nor is it intended, to support any aspect of patient care and its use for any patient care purposes is prohibited.
  • Report output must not be used to identify, or to attempt to identify individuals.

Citation and disclaimer requirements

The User Agreement for this service states: “This Agreement applies to all data disclosed to you as a result of your use of the Service, as well as any data or other information you may create or derive from such data (all of which constitutes the "Data").”

Required citation: If you reproduce Data in your own work for purposes approved by the Province, you will include the citation: "Generated from BC Data Scout™ service” including the date the report was run as well as the report run ID.

Required disclaimer: All materials produced by you in connection with the Data must include the following disclaimer: "All inferences, opinions, and conclusions drawn in this publication are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the British Columbia Ministry of Health".

Please submit your BC Data Scout specific research materials for pre-publication review using the online form found in the following link:



Access to BC Data ScoutTM is through the my.popdata website. You will need a my.popdata account to login to access BC Data ScoutTM. If you don't already have an account, you may register for one here.

Page last revised: July 14, 2020