Data Innovation Program

The Data Innovation Program is a data integration and analytics program for government. While every B.C. 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 B.C.’s complex issues.

The program supports population-level analysis, not individual or case-level analysis, unlocking the potential for new insights that can 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 B.C.

As it developed as a pilot, the Data Innovation Program has been supported by Population Data BC, an internationally-recognized academic organization that has facilitated population-based research for over 20 years.

Better insights, better government

Government’s programs and services span all aspects of life in B.C., such as education, health care, public safety, social services, the economy and the environment. By safely integrating and de-identifying data from these programs and services, government can gain new insights about population-level trends and complex issues, which can lead to better programs, policies and services for British Columbians.

Linked data does not identify individuals

Data available through the Data Innovation Program is always de-identified to protect privacy. This means identifiers such as names, driver’s licence numbers and personal health numbers are removed before the data can be used for research.

Data is kept safe and secure

Data is stored on a central server in a secure facility. It is only accessible through a secure platform (known as a secure research environment), and it is only available for approved government projects that meet strict conditions to protect individual privacy.

B.C.’s approach to protecting privacy is guided by provincial legislation (the Statistics Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act), an overarching Privacy Impact Assessment, and a privacy and security framework based on the internationally-recognized Five Safes model.