Integrated Data Service: Twenty projects now live

The Integrated Data Service (IDS), a centralised platform led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that allows government data experts to access and share information, is now supporting 20 live projects as it continues to be rolled out. 

This is according to the National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond, as part of a response to a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones. 

The IDS is currently in public beta mode and is preparing to launch a full live service soon.

Although the platform is up and running, most projects continue to run on the outgoing ONS Secure Research Service, which housed a total of 842 projects during 2023. Sir Diamond said running costs for the service, which has been in operation for two decades, was £7m in 2023. 

In comparison, the approximate costs of running the incoming IDS in 2023 were £4,2m including infrastructure costs, which Diamond argues permits future scaling of the service.

In an interview last year Alison Prichard, Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Data Capability at ONS, talked about the importance of the new system in linking data to provide otherwise untapped insight and to allow real-time analysis on a growing range of integrated data assets. “We finally have a service that removes friction from the way data is provided and accessed across government, enabling a simple flow of analysis into policy evaluation and development," she told Government Transformation Magazine.

The intention, she added, is to have every badged government analyst - roughly 14,000 members – using the IDS as a regular tool. 

In September 2023, IDS received accreditation for data provision – making it the first cloud-native trusted research environment to be accredited for data provision under the legislation and opening the opportunity to scale.


“The IDS is built to be future-proofed, to better enable the government’s data-sharing agenda in a more effective and efficient way,” Diamond said. “The IDS will grow at pace over the remainder of the programme with a pipeline of additional and transformational capability, data, projects and users which exceed the capabilities of the Secure Research Service. Improved data integration and cross-sector collaboration enabled through cloud technologies will drive significant uptake.”

He added that the SRS grew rapidly upon achieving Digital Economy Act accreditation in 2019 because it enabled greater expansion of its data catalogue and user base. “An improved trajectory is anticipated for the IDS with many SRS’s data sets, as well as projects, where applicable, migrating to the IDS as part of a transition that is underway,” he concluded. 

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