Over the years a number of approaches have been taken to describe and/or quantify data burden. Some have included sophisticated models and attempts to estimate high-level costs.

This project takes a simple approach to defining the data burden that is imposed on institutions by funders and regulators.

The data burden imposed on institutions by funders and regulators is the value of the activities above and beyond business-as-usual that are necessary to meet the external data requirements.

This definition recognises that institutions will have their own requirements to capture, process and analyse data and that, in the majority of cases, data activities to support external requirements are built onto these BAU systems and processes.

This implies that an institution that chooses to have a high level of BAU data activity – typically exemplified though aspirations around internal reporting and analysis – will have a lower data burden than an equivalent instuitution with a lower level of BAU data activity.

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