The Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (CVDL) has implemented a new cloud-based platform which improves the production, provision, and security of linked data for researchers, health services and government.
Built in a highly secure Azure environment, the new platform enables automated uploading, linkage and integration of multiple administrative and clinical datasets. This automation will allow the CVDL to produce linked data much more frequently than was previously possible, facilitating timelier analysis and research.
For example, it is expected that the CVDL’s enduring asset of over 35 health, human services and other administrative data sets will now be produced monthly rather than annually.
The CVDL’s secure access environment, VALT, allows access to deidentified integrated data produced by the platform using Virtual Machines (VM). Separate VALT virtual machines are set up for each approved project, and registered users are provided with access to their project-specific data via their project VM.
Following a soft launch in April 2021, VALT is transitioning to business as usual from December 2021, with the CVDL releasing all linked data into VALT VMs other than by exception. Feedback during VALT’s first six months soft launch indicates that the VMs are powerful and suitable for undertaking complex analysis of large datasets. The CVDL now has around 35 VMs under use, and has capacity for 120 in total.
The CVDL’s new cloud-based end-to-end linkage and data release infrastructure is the most advanced of Australian state-based linkage agencies, offering many advantages for Victorian researchers and analysts in improving the currency, quality and security of linked data.
The CVDL will continue to review and improve the technical infrastructure, with potential improvements identified already for VALT.
If you have any questions relating to the CVDL’s new infrastructure or the VALT system, contact Mark Sipthorp, Technical Manager, Centre for Victorian Data Linkage via Mark.Sipthorp@health.vic.gov.au.