SA-NT DataLink
Supporting health, social and economic research, education and policy in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Datasets Available in the Master Linkage Map/File

The Master Linkage Map also known as the Master Linkage File is a database located in a secure and protected facility within the Data Linkage Unit of SA NT DataLink.  It holds a discrete and select range of demographic and personally identifying data called linkage variables. The linkage variables are used to match people's personally identifying records (e.g. names inlcuding aliases, date of birth, gender, addresses) across multiple data sources. Linkage Variables are regularly updated into the Master Linkage File as the Data Custodians provide their updated 'client' file information that enables the SA Health staff working in the Data Linkage Unit at SA NT DataLink to maintain the Master Linkage Map/File.

While Data Linkage is the process of matching records from multiple data sources, there is a benefit from the specific use of an enduring Master Linkage File as this enables the work done once to improve the matching of individuals to be part of a continual improvement and data quality improvement program supporting multiple approved research studies. As more and more records are inlcuded in the Master Linkage Map/File, the quality of matching improves. 

Specifical approval is sought from each of the Data Custodians to authorise data being added into the Master Linkage Map. Often Deeds of Agreement (DEED) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are signed with SA NT DataLink, which details the personally identifing data variables used for linkage, and specific conditions on the use of the data, to ensure the privacy protection expected by the community is maintained. 

In SA Government, the data provision and storage in the Master Linkage Map is subject to the approval of the Privacy Committee of South Australia.

The Northern Territory Government datasets are provided and stored in accordance with the Information Act 2002 (NT)

For a list of available datasets in the Master Linkage Map, please refer to the Available Datasets under the 'For Researchers' tab of the SA NT DataLink website.


Adding Datasets into the Master Linkage Map/File

Other datasets can be added to the Master Linkage Map.  Please send your enquiries to SA NT DataLink.  We will be happy to discuss the process with you.