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News : First research report published using the Integrated Data Service (IDS)

An image of a pole flying the Welsh flag

The first research report based on analysis in the Integrated Data Service (IDS) (opens in a new tab)  has recently been produced by the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Census Statistical Design Team, in partnership with Administrative Data Research (ADR) Wales, and research leaders in the Welsh Government.

It outlines findings from research into Welsh language ability.

Collaborative research

The research, titled "Differences between estimates of Welsh language ability in Census 2021 and household surveys", improves the understanding of Welsh language statistics. This is in line with the Welsh Language Strategy, Cymraeg 2050 (opens in a new tab) , which aims to have a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

This research was conducted by remote "early adopter" researchers given access to the platform, having been approved by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) Research Accreditation Panel. The research showcases the potential and capability of the service to enable cross-cutting collaborative research across government departments.

Initial findings have been shared from the first of six projects, involving the analysis of linked, de-identified Census 2021 and Labour Force Survey (LFS) data in the IDS. The findings showed that around two in five people (39.9%) who recorded being able to speak Welsh in the LFS or Census 2021 say that they were unable to do so on the other source.

Work has now turned to the next five projects, and we hope to be able to share news on the findings from these in due course. Regular updates will also be provided on the progress of these and other projects by the Welsh Government, as part of their quarterly publication on Welsh language data from the Annual Population Survey (opens in a new tab) 

Read the full details of the analysis from this project to learn more about their findings (opens in a new tab) 

The role of the Integrated Data Service (IDS)

Without the transformational elements of the IDS, this research could not have been conducted at such a pace, as the platform provides researchers access to standardised, anonymised, linked data which can be rapidly analysed.

In turn, this analysis will help decision makers to form policy for the public good. In this case, it could potentially inform the Welsh Government’s Welsh language strategy and its target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Alison Pritchard, Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability at ONS, said: “This is another key milestone, and I am delighted that the IDS is maturing the service, improving its ways of working and streamlining how the Welsh Government and ONS work together.”

The IDS will continue to collaborate with partner organisations to ensure it offers secure, scalable, efficient, and collaborative analysis, hosting more new and innovative research focused on the government’s policy priorities, including health, the economy, levelling up and net zero.

Administrative Data Research (ADR) UK's role

Administrative Data Research (ADR) Wales, as part of ADR UK (opens in a new tab) , has been supporting and advising in the development of the IDS. The team in Wales has been involved in knowledge sharing, best practice and lessons learnt from the ADR Wales partnership and the world-leading SAIL Databank (opens in a new tab) , enabling the IDS to better support the Welsh and UK research community.

As a result, further analysis could be undertaken to assess the significance of factors which lead to inconsistent reporting of Welsh language skills, and the accuracy of different data sources.

Get involved

Do you have any experiences of or questions on the IDS? We want to hear from you!

Email the team at IDS.Comms@ons.gov.uk (opens in a new tab)  or sign up to the IDS newsletter (opens in a new tab)