Economic analysis and research

What is BELab? (pilot phase)

Microdata bases are a valuable information source on the behaviour of economic agents. Exploiting them can make for a better and deeper understanding of reality. The Banco de España Data Laboratory (BELab) has been created with the aim of providing the research community with greater access to high-quality microdata, in a controlled environment that ensures confidential treatment of the data.

In this pilot phase, BELab only allows direct access to the Central Balance Sheet Data Office’s microdata in a secure environment (the physical laboratory, or data room) on the Banco de España premises at C/Alcalá 522. In no circumstances will access be given to personal data, i.e. to data enabling individuals to be identified.

BELab provides the following services:

  • It receives access requests and forwards them to a Research Technical Evaluation Committee, which will review the documentation submitted.
  • It authorises and oversees access to the laboratory (data room) on the Central Balance Sheet Data Office’s premises (in the Statistics Department). That ensures compliance at all times with legal and data protection requirements.
  • It provides the necessary IT tools (Python, R, Stata, among others) so that visiting researchers may pursue their projects. The researchers themselves shall be responsible for creating their own analysis programmes.
  • It draws up and furnishes the methodological documentation needed for the proper use of the microdata.

It ensures that individual agents cannot be identified in the results of the work by visiting researchers.

 

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BELab