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Remote Data Access Environment to speed up access to data

16 April 2018: We are developing a secure web-based environment that enables faster access to better-linked data.

It will provide a single point of entry that ensures the right person, with the right permissions, gets the data they need.

Alpha launch: user testers needed

The Remote Data Access Environment (RDAE) is part of our Data Services Platform (DSP) development work that will improve our existing ways of collecting, processing and using data. This month, we are launching the 'alpha' phase of RDAE to begin software testing and over the coming months, we'll need your insight and support to help shape development.

User testing will include:

access: are you able to securely access the data you need?
experience: do you have the right tools to manipulate the data?
performance: is it fast enough?
If you are interested in getting involved in user testing or have any questions about RDAE, please contact us at

Benefits of RDAE

While data governance around data access will remain unchanged, the introduction of RDAE will bring a range of benefits, as Daniel Ray, NHS Digital Director of Data, explains:

'The Remote Data Access Environment is a web portal, so we won't need to physically disseminate data to researchers as often. Instead, they'll have the choice to log onto RDAE. This will reduce the risk associated with data sharing and speed up access to data.

'RDAE will reduce infrastructure costs for organisations that currently have to house and upload large amounts of data and will provide a significant increase in processing power for many users. This means researchers will be able to do more with the data, faster.

In the longer-term, we're also introducing data visualisation tools to the platform, which will add value to analyses by enabling additional insight.'

When improvements will be available

We're aiming to make over 30 datasets available to researchers who have a Data Sharing Agreement in place, via the live version of RDAE, by December 2018.

In addition to RDAE, we are also in the process of improving the Data Access Request Service (DARS) by speeding up the processing and approval of data applications. In time, DARS will be integrated with RDAE, leading to an even more efficient, streamlined service.

Last edited: 27 September 2018 11:05 am