Achieving widespread adoption of internationally recognised data standards across the UK is at the core of the Alliance’s mission.

Data standards are crucial to the success of health data science, providing consistency, comparability and reproducibility across diverse data assets and enabling robust and reliable research across different regions and countries.

However, the healthcare, research and data infrastructure is complex and fragmented – frequently lacking common standards and practices.

Our focus is to facilitate the adoption of existing standards, for interoperability and usability of health-related data, only developing new standards where there is a clear unmet need.

We work in collaboration with our members to achieve agreements on, and drive the adoption of, best practices for data curation, management, and analysis.

This is essential to our objective of maximising the trustworthy use of health data for the benefit of the public.


Our approach

One of our principal mechanisms for the community development and evaluation of data standards is the Data Officers Group, chaired by Geoff Hall, Professor of Digital Health, at University of Leeds, honorary consultant in medical oncology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Chief Clinical Data Officer at HDR UK.

The Data Officers Group includes representatives from Alliance member and partner organisations across the UK and addresses key challenges in data curation, quality and management – identifying available solutions, and agreeing actions and priorities. There are currently three priority areas of work:

 Contact us if you’re interested in joining these groups or to propose new areas of work.

Recommendations and Outputs 

The Alliance is shaping data standards in many ways. Its papers and publications include: 

Output Type Publication Name Date Published
Data Officers’ Group Meeting Reports Data Officers’ Group Quarter 3 Meeting Report Sep-2023
Data Officers’ Group Quarter 4 Meeting Report Jan-2024
Data Usability Recommendations for Data Standards in Health Data Research White Paper Nov-2021
Data Standards Green Paper Jun-2021
Principles for Data Standards Jun-2020
Data Discovery  Data Utility Framework Green Paper Mar-2021
Data Utility Framework One Pager Nov-2020
Metadata Specification to Support Gateway Minimum Viable Product Nov-2019

Outputs from the work on common data models can be found here.