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New service launches to boost Scotland’s health and social research

Research Data Scotland (RDS) has launched its new Researcher Access Service, after working with Nexer Digital to make it quicker and simpler for researchers to access Scotland’s public sector datasets.

This initiative aims to make crucial datasets more accessible, ultimately improving public health and social wellbeing in Scotland.

As part of the £300,000 project, Nexer Digital helped to design and build a new ‘Data Access Service’ and created a new website for RDS, aiming to reduce the time it takes researchers to identify and access data without compromising scrutiny or security.

Previously, services in this space faced challenges due to fragmented working methods and outdated paper-based processes. Nexer Digital collaborated with the newly formed RDS to redesign and streamline the system and process, providing researchers with an end-to-end digital service for the first time.

A key feature of the new service is the integration with a metadata catalogue, allowing researchers to easily access and understand available datasets. Research with users, including external researchers and business stakeholders, informed the design process, with a focus on usability and accessibility for everyone.

Hugh Wallace, Chief Information Officer at RDS, said: “Research Data Scotland engaged Nexer Digital following a competitive tender process. They subsequently delivered a comprehensive overhaul of RDS’s website, overarching service design and a detailed technology appraisal to consider RDS’s next generation case management options. Nexer’s team are not only highly skilled and dedicated but also very much on our wavelength in terms of delivering high-quality, sustainable public services.”

Shaun Gomm, Commercial Director at Nexer Digital, added: “Accessing public health and social data for research or policy-making can often be complex and time-consuming, leading to missed opportunities. Through a user-centred design and development process, we built a high-performing website and together designed a new Researcher Access Service that is efficient, accessible and easy to use. This project sets the stage for continued innovation in data access and management, ultimately improving public health and social wellbeing outcomes in Scotland.”


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