Workshop on Microdata Computation Centre (MiCoCe)

: 29 & 30 April 2014
Location: the German Federal Employment Agency, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Regensburger Strasse 104, 90478 Nuremberg, Germany
Programme: see below or download pdf.
Documents: Downloadable [Below] or [ZIP FOLDER]

Background & Foreword

DwB organised a Workshop on Microdata Computation Centre (MiCoCe), held on 29 and 30 April, 2014 in Nuremberg (Germany).

One of the most important missions of the DwB is improving access to existing microdata. The project has first evaluated the state of play of different remote access solutions in Europe. A second step brought up the suggestion of the European Remote Access Network (Eu-RAN). The network would bring together researchers and research groups from different countries with data sources from all over Europe. A Microdata Computation Centre would work in the central node of the Eu-RAN to support research on distributed data source.

Due to data security reasons some of the most interesting data must stay physically in the facilities of the data owner. At the same time there is a huge demand on analysing data from different countries simultaneously. The challenge is to enable analysis with distributed data sources and fulfill the requirement of not moving the data at the same time. The Microdata Computation Centre Workshop focuses on this specific problem and brings together experts from different areas in order to discuss practical solutions.

Within the workshop first the need for such functionalities on a European level WAS presented by the DwB partners. Afterwards a number of presentations – with experts from IT and Statistics – described solutions and approaches that could tackle this issue; e.g. grid computing solutions or research on bio banks. Then discussion on how such solutions could be integrated in social science research was held. DwB focusses on the European landscape albeit that suggested solutions are not limited to Europe. Exchange on this issue should be forced within a worldwide community; therefore participants from all over the world were invited.

Even if data in the social sciences is currently predominantly understood as information stored within matrix files and analysed with statistical software like Stata, SAS or R, also future data sources should be discussed within this workshop. That includes issues like: use of big data, new ways of data analysis for social sciences, interdisciplinary data sources, interchange between public and private sector.

The workshop programme is displayed below and it is available in pdf format, also.

The slideshows presented during the workshop are directly downloadable (in pdf format) by clicking on the links displayed after the title of each presentation.

Documentation package with programme & slideshows available [HERE] (Zipped folder)


Content of Workshop

Day 1: Tuesday 29 April 2014


Opening and Session 1 - Scope for and starting point of the workshop
Chair: A. Burghardt (FDZ of BA at IAB)

  • Opening
  • Data without Boundaries (DwB) – Short Overview (S. Bender, FDZ of BA at IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Proposing a European Remote Access Network (Eu-RAN) (D.Schiller, FDZ of BA at IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Need for Harmonized Data Sources for Valid Reseearch (T. Rhein, IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Harmonizing Big Data for Smart Research (P.K. Hall, U. Minnesota) [Download PDF]
  • Discussion

Session 2 - Trusted Third Party Approach 

(Chair: D. Schiller, FDZ of BA at IAB)

  • The German National Cohort (GNC) Trust Center (C. Stallmann, U. Magdeburg) [Download PDF]
  • Trusted Third Party Approach (T. Mulcahy, NORC at U.Chicago) [Download PDF]
  • German Record Linkage Center (J. Eberle, FDZ of BA at IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Record Linkage Methods (D. Smith, U. Manchester) [Download PDF]
  • Discussion

Session 3 - Approaches from Governmental & Health Data

(Chair: Ø. Risnes, NSD)

  • Remote Access in Scandinavian Countries (C-G. Hjelm, Statistic Sweden) [Download PDF]
  • Pilot a Eu-RAN Data Service Centre in 4 Steps (L. Engberts, CBS) [Download PDF]
  • DataShield – A Solution for Secure Federated Analysis (P. Burton & A. Gaye, U. Bristol) [Download PDF]
  • Using E-DataShield to Run joint Analysis from 3 UK National Statistics Agencies (G. Raab, U. Edinburgh) [Download PDF]
  • Discussion


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Day 2: Wednesday 30 2014

Session 4 - Technical & Statistical Approaches
(Chair: J. Drechsler, IAB)

  • Distributed File Systems  (C. Boehme, GWDG) [Download PDF]
  • Remote Computing Using Harmonized Databases (T. Busert, DIPF) [Download PDF]
  • Analysing Distributed Data Sources (P-P. de Wolf & D. Schiller, CBS & IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Generating Synthetic Microdata to Widen Access to Sensitive Datasets (B. Nowok, U. Edinburgh) [Download PDF]
  • Avalanche: Adaptative Query Processing over Distributed Linked Data-endpoints (B. Cosmin, U. Zurich) [Download PDF]
  • Discussion

Session 5 - 
MiCoCe for Future Needs: Big/Smart Data – Public/Private Sector 
(Chair: A. Burghardt, FDZ of BA at IAB)

  • Analysis of Big Data – A Change in Paradigm? (A. Nold, SAS) [Download PDF]
  • German Labour Market Data & Challenge of Big Data (S. Bender, FDZ of BA at IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Microdata Computation Centre to Enable Research with Public & Private Sector Data (D. Schiller, FDZ of BA at IAB) [Download PDF]
  • Discussion

Session 6 and closure - A Microdata Computation Centre for Europe (and beyond)
(Chair: David Schiller, FDZ of BA at IAB)

  • Summary
  • Small group discussions
  • Panel discussion
  • Closure of meeting


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