Nancy Meagher

Executive Director, PopData BC

Nancy Meagher is the Executive Director of Population Data BC (PopData). With a Master’s in Economics, Nancy has worked internationally in health policy research, hospital management, and pharmaceutical market research, bridging research and its application in policy, business and industry. Over the past ten years Nancy, working with staff and key stakeholders, has developed PopData into a multi-university data and education resource offering researchers access to one of the world’s largest collections of health care, health services and population health data.

PopData supports research access to individual-level, de-identified longitudinal data on British Columbia’s 4.6 million residents. These data are linkable to each other and to external data sets, where approved by the data provider. Linkage of data across sectors, such as health, education, early childhood development, workplace and the environment, facilitates advances in understanding the complex interplay of influences on human health, well-being and development. Such research informs health related policy-making and investment decisions for healthier communities.

A major focus of PopData has been to harmonize research data access policies and processes across participating public bodies in order to improve efficiency and enhance privacy. Currently PopData is spearheading the development of a proportionate governance framework for research data access that aligns risks associated with the use of privacy-sensitive data with the level and stringency of adjudication. This framework is intended to address present-day data access challenges, including governance over the use and linkage of ‘omics data.