Data analytics

FOI request reference: F0054553
Publication date: November 2018


Please provide me with a list of data analytics projects/operational activities from the last five years.

For each activity can I have,

1. A description of the project / operational function.
2. What data analytics where carried out for the project / function
3. Enabling tool used i.e. SQL Server, R, Excel etc.

I am looking for details about any activity/project that involves structured data extraction from one or more systems and subsequent analysis.

An example might be that you have digitised a collection and you have made that digitised collection available online. Now assume you had a system for issuing reader’s tickets that collected data regarding which collection the reader accessed. Now say you wish to understand to what extent publishing the digitised collection effected demand for access to the analogue collection. You could use Google Analytics to determine how many times the digitised collection was accessed broken down by month and number of times accessed. Now say your reader’s ticket issuing system does not have native reporting capabilities, you might invest the time in querying the databases with a SQL Server query.

So the details I would looking for,
Activity carried out, in August 2018 analysing data from January 2018 to July 2018.
Systems queried, reader’s ticket issuing system and digital collection website.
Data gathered and analysed; user data for access to analogue collection gathered by number of times accessed and broken down by month; user data for access to digitised collection website gathered by number of times accessed and broken down by month.
Tools used SQL Server queries and Google Analytics.




Section 12 – Cost Limits

We have determined that we will not be able to answer your request because to do so would exceed the cost limit provision under section 12 of the Act. Section 12 (1) of the Act makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for The National Archives (as a central government department) is set at £600. This equates to 25 hours staff time (or one person spending three and a half working days) on determining whether the department holds the information and then locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

We estimate that it will take us in excess of this to identify the appropriate information, and locate, retrieve and extract it, in response to your request. Data analytics is a very broad term and is used to refer to a variety of processes, methods and tools used to analyse data. Data analytics is used across the organisation and in a multitude of projects. Reviewing the information we hold in all the area of the business and all projects that have used data analytics over the last five years, in order to extract the information you require, would far exceed the cost limit. Therefore, we will not be processing your request any further.

Section 16 – Advice and Assistance

If you were to narrow your request, we may be able to provide you with further information. Although, we are unable to guarantee that any narrowed requests would fall within the cost limit.

For example, you could try reducing the scope of your request by:

• Defining more clearly what you mean by data analytics, or what aspect of data analytics you are interested in, such as the use of a particular process, method or tool.

• Narrowing your timeframe – please be aware that data is collected and analysed at TNA on a daily basis.

• Specifying a business area within TNA in which you are interested, e.g. the education department or the marketing department. You may wish to refer to the organisational chart on our website or our previously published FOI requests for guidance.

Organisational structure:

Information requests:

• Identifying a specific project or dataset, you would like to know more about. It may help to consult the datasets published by TNA on and/or the Publication Scheme and Privacy Policy pages on our website.

Publication Scheme:

Privacy Policy:

The Information Commissioner’s Office publishes useful guidance on making an FOI request, which may help you refine your request:

Further guidance on section 12 can be found at: