Case Studies

Case studies of re-use

Collection of 200+ case studies compiled by the UK Data Service, showcasing the reuse of archived data for research, learning and policy purposes.

Comparative research using secondary data analysis: exploring Europe’s changing food consumption practices

Case study illustrating the value of secondary data analysis in research. The case study uses four waves of household budget survey data (1985–2005) from a subset of European countries, specifically Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and France. There were challenges that took time to resolve. The data preparation was iterative; coding of one country often meant recoding of others. However, coding, analysis, recoding and more analysis of the datasets for equivalence and descriptive statistics exposed trends and patterns that existed within the data sets.

  • What problems may arise from secondary data analysis?
  • Why is detailed literature important for secondary analysis?
  • How can you handle different coding across datasets?

Sick and stuck at home? Does living with health challenges influence people’s energy use?

Case study illustrating reuse of data from the Understanding Society study to investigate which groups of people might find it difficult to save more energy due to their life circumstances, in view of global warming concerns, and which groups of people would be at a disadvantage if climate change mitigation policies make energy more expensive. The 2012–14 wave of Understanding Society was used for the research because it covers a broad range of questions about people’s environmental attitudes and behaviours, as well as questions on their self-reported health status. The sample consisted of nearly 47,170 individuals in just over 25,800 households in the UK.

  • What are the advantages of reusing data from a household study such as Understanding Society?
  • Which challenges exist when basing research on existing data?