Microdata.no was developed in a collaboration between the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD) and Statistics Norway as part of the infrastructure project RAIRD, funded by the Research Council of Norway.
The service is operated and being further developed by NSD and Statistics Norway, and provides researchers and students at approved research institutions with access to register data from Statistics Norway.
- Researchers and students can process and analyse all available register variables
- Data is available on the population, education, income, the labour market and welfare benefits
- Institutions that have signed an agreement for using the system can manage their own users
- The solution has an anonymisation interface with embedded privacy protection
Norway has a well-developed and well-documented system for register data. Some of the most important registers are also used as a basis for official statistics.
Such data is also valuable as research data. The accessibility of register data for research purposes in Norway is good, but privacy protection requirements mean that the application processes for using data can be time-consuming and costly.
Through the RAIRD project and the microdata.no service, NSD and Statistics Norway have renewed their efforts to simplify the access to Statistics Norway’s register data. The idea behind microdata.no is that researchers can use non-anonymised data through a platform that protects confidentiality, where the researcher only has indirect contact with personal data, where data remains in Statistics Norway’s possession, and where the platform ensures that all output is anonymous.
Possibilities and limitations
Microdata.no thus offers the possibility for quick and easy access to register data from Statistics Norway.
Researchers are registered by their own institution (assuming it has signed an institutional agreement) and can use the analytical platform with a large degree of flexibility.
The access applies to all variables that are made available in the system, and access to specific variables does not need to be sought in advance.
The analytical platform offers advanced data processing functionality, descriptive analysis, aggregation, linear regression analysis, logistic regression, etc. Panel methods are to be phased in relatively soon.
- Researchers cannot view or download data
- Researchers cannot use their own statistical packages or libraries
- It is not possible for researchers to link to their own data
- The choice of statistical analyses is limited (but will be expanded)
- All output is subject to confidentiality measures. The methods are described in Appendix C in the User Manual (Norwegian only)
microdata.no has a legal basis to process personal data under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) art. 6 no. 1 letter e), conf Law on personal data § 8 and the Statistics Act §§ 1, 4 and 17(1), and GDPR art. 9 no. 2 letter j) conf. Law on personal data §9 and the Statistics Act §§ 1, 4 and 17(1).