The Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research analyses public sector data for the public good. We aim to unlock the value of information routinely collected by government departments and other public bodies, so it can be used to improve policies, services and lives. Our interdisciplinary programme involves cutting-edge research and new methodologies, but crucially seeks to utilise and analyse data to inform policy and practice and contribute to evidence-based decision making. We work with partners in government from Holyrood and Westminster to local authorities, as well as practitioners and third sector organisations to highlight the trends and insights our research reveals.

Recent Submissions

  • Investigating the effects of class composition and class size on pupils’ attainment in Scottish primary schools 

    Gehrsitz, Markus (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2021-04-29)
    Composite classes (also known as “multi-grade classes”) combine pupils from adjacent years into a single classroom. This classroom structure is widespread yet understudied. Quirks in the Scottish institutional structure ...
  • Using data to classify the likely ‘motivation’ of online drug purchasers 

    Pantoja, Fernando (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2021-01-28)
    We used data provided by the National Crime Agency about illegal consignments intercepted through the postal service by the UK Border Force and destined for Scotland to establish a new approach for the classification of ...
  • Using data to support law enforcement decision making around illegal drug parcels 

    Morales, Ana (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2021-01-28)
    Using data from the National Crime Agency on drug parcels intercepted en route to Scotland between 2011 and 2016, this project aimed to identify what factors were most important in determining which parcels were used to ...
  • Selective schools: do they improve health? 

    Popham, Frank; Butler, Jess (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2021-01-14)
    Educated groups have better physical and mental health in later life. But is the type of school per se a cause of better later life health or it is simply that, for example, those attending “better” schools tend to come ...
  • Infants born into care in Scotland: Initial Findings 

    Raab, Gillian; McGhee, Janice; Macintyre, Cecilia (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2020-11-03)
    This report is one of the first outputs that uses linked data from the Looked after Children in Scotland data (LAC-S) to examine looked after children’s journeys. These data were made available to the research team in a ...
  • Data Insights: The health and economic benefits of active commuting in Scotland 

    Baker, Graham (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2020-11-26)
    Using data from the 2001 and 2011 waves of the Scottish Census, this research sought to provide insights into the benefits of active commuting in Scotland.
  • Data Insights: Youth movements, social mobility and health inequalities 

    Berrie, Laurie (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2020-10-28)
    This work explores the hypothesis that some youth movements, such as Scouts and Guides, have an approach to youth development which enhances soft cognitive skills. These skills may subsequently increase later life social ...
  • Data Insights: Postal deliveries of drugs in Scotland 

    Matthews, Ben (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2020-06-16)
    Developments in technology are making it easier to anonymously access sites on the internet, known as ‘cryptomarkets’, to order illegal drugs. These drugs are then delivered via standard postal services. Our work uses ...
  • Postal delivery of illegal consignments into Scotland: Dataset description 

    Matthews, Ben; McVie, Susan; Dibben, Chris; Collier, Ben (2020-06-09)
    This report describes a novel dataset of illegal consignments from overseas identified in postal processing centres between April 2011 and January 2016 and intended for delivery to Scotland. The data were provided to ...
  • Working Paper: Is there a consistent pattern in benefit sanctions rates by Jobcentre Plus offices in Scotland? 

    Pattaro, Serena (Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research, 2020-02-25)
    Within the debate on labour market activation policies and the public discussion on unemployment benefit sanctions and their effectiveness in raising transition rates back to employment, increasing attention has been paid ...