About the Research Data Centres of official statistics
Two RDC – one objective: The Research Data Centres of official statistics consist of two RDC that are organisationally separated: the Research Data Centre of the Federal Statistical Office and the Research Data Centre of the Statistical Offices of the Federal States.
Both Research Data Centres cooperate closely to meet the growing data needs of empirically working scientists. They offer a coordinated range of data and services for the scientific use of official statistics microdata.
Where we started
The foundation of the RDC stems from a report of the “Commission on the Improvement of the Informational Infrastructure between Research and Statistics” (KVI). Commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), it has developed various proposals for improving the interrelations between researchers and statistics in 1999. One of the central recommendations of this commission was to set up Research Data Centres on the premises of the public data producers.
Based on this recommendation and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the start-up phase, the Statistical Offices started the establishment of Research Data Centres. In autumn 2001, the Research Data Centre of the Federal Statistical Office was established. In April 2002, the Research Data Centre of the Statistical Offices of the federal states followed as joint pilot project of all Statistical Offices of the Federal States.
Where we are
The basic objective of the Research Data Centres of the Statistical Offices of the Federation and the Federal States is to not only enable the access to official statistics microdata but to continuously improve it and to adapt it to the changing needs of scientists. To meet the needs of the broad requirements of empirically working scientists, the RDC have since their foundation offered different ways of data access via which differently anonymised data products are provided.
A central precondition for the achievement of this objective is the continuous improvement of the data infrastructure. At RDC of official statistics this is based mainly on two pillars: the functionally centralized data storage and the regionalized infrastructure:
Functionally centralized data storage: In Germany, the majority of official statistics are compiled in a decentralised manner by the Statistical Offices of the federal states. They gather, process and store more than 90% of all official statistics. For these statistics, the according Statistical Offices remain the proprietors of their federal states data. However, as scientific analyses usually relate to more than one federal state or to the whole federal territory, the Research Data Centres of the Statistical Offices of the Federation and the federal states have implemented a functionally centralised data storage system. This allows official microdata from every federal state to be provided and used in all regional locations of both Research Data Centres.
Regionalized infrastructure: The Research Data Centres have made it their objective to always be close to science. This is accomplished by locations that are distributed over all of Germany. For our data users this means that they do usually not have to accept long access routes when visiting a safe centre.
You find a list of all regional RDC locations at our contact page.
Where we want to be
The RDC strive to continuously refine themselves and to meet the changing needs of empirically working scientists. We therefore set new key topics that we concentrate on for a given period of time. We depend on your feedback to find out where we have a need for improvement. For this, you can contact us any time. A standardised survey on our users’ valuation takes places regularly within the scope of our survey on user satisfaction.
A view beyond the horizon
Next to the Research Data Centres of the Statistical Offices of the Federation and the Federal States there is a series of further Research Data Centres and Service Centres which are organised in the German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten – RatSWD).
You find an overview on further accredited Research Data Centres and Data Service Centres at the German Data Forums web presence.