About the project

The aim of the Risk Utility Management project was to deliver an easy-to-use front end to an existing R tool, SDCMicro, to allow and to automate the creation of anonymised datasets from confidential sources.

Prior to this project, the process of creating Open, Safeguarded and Synthetic datasets was a time-consuming, manual process, with significant costs to the data producers who generate anonymised versions of data for dissemination to researchers. Working with the Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD) the front end was developed so that users of the programme were able to import confidential data into the program, and then apply pre-set anonymisation techniques of varying degrees to create new redacted data sources.

Other key features of the program included Risk-Utility ‘scores’, allowing users of the program to examine the effects of applying further anonymisation techniques on the data on the ‘usefulness’ of the resulting data product.

Our contribution

  • Liaison link: Louise Corti, UK Data Service
  • Principle Investigator: Richard Welpton, UK Data Service
  • Collaborators: Norwegian Data Services (NSD)
  • Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Dates: September 2014 to May 2015