Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Why use synthetic data?

Due to the confidential nature of the data held within the SLS, the data can only be accessed within the SLS Safe Setting of the National Records of Scotland (NRS) office in Edinburgh.  As synthetic data do not include records from real individuals they can be made available outside the SLS Safe Setting.

The synthetic spine is intended to provide a taster of the longitudinal aspect of the SLS data by providing five variables at two time points (2001 and 2011).

Bespoke synthetic datasets enable users to conduct preliminary analysis outside the safe setting.  The synthetic datasets can be used to develop analysis code that will be run on the real data, either when the user visits the SLS Safe Setting or by the staff of the SLS-DSU.

Synthetic data are valuable for preparing syntax and for training purposes however synthetic data cannot be used for final analysis as they are not real data.

Explore the variables held in the SLS data dictionary.

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