While this analysis provides a rich overview of the Impacts realised from DARS data, there are several limitations.
Benefit statements are not currently structured or coded and and they represent the views of the applicants themselves. The quality of statements can be variable and the benefits listed generally did not follow a strict benefits methodology, so they have been described as Impacts, to avoid confusion. This approach could have the advantage of picking up Impacts that, although important, are not easily quantified and therefore generally under-reported. It does however make it impossible to assess their scale, without further work.
This was a snapshot. Impacts may vary over time. The categories were identified through a grounded approach, that is, they emerged from the data, rather than being based on an existing framework. This meant that the terminology used did not always align with the description of benefits in the literature or strategic policy documents.
DARS data does not include the statistical publications and other sources of open data that NHS Digital publish, so this analysis does not provide a complete picture of the impacts of NHS Digital data.