Statistical Analysis Centre (SAC)

Director: Christina Wolfson
Associate Director: Isabel Fortier
Data Access Officer: Istvan Molnar-Szakacs
Senior Data Curator: Sarah Youssef
Data Curator: Khaled Boulsaien
Statistician: Bin Zhu
Statistician: Geva Maimon

The Statistical Analysis Centre (SAC) is where alphanumeric information collected in the CLSA is verified for accuracy and prepared for analysis and for distribution to approved researchers. This “information locker” is located at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. In the CLSA, data collection occurs through telephone interviews, in-home interviews and in-person visits to the Data Collection Sites. The information is “de-identified,” meaning anything that could identify participants – names or phone numbers, for example – is removed from the data before being entered into the CLSA database.
 
Whether a participant takes part in telephone interviews, in-home interviews and/or data collection site visits, information is first transmitted to the CLSA National Coordinating Centre (NCC) at McMaster University in Hamilton for long-term storage of the raw data. The Statistical Analysis Centre works closely with the NCC in implementing and managing standard operating protocols for the access and use of the data.
 
The mandate of the SAC is to examine all of the data for accuracy, create derived variables, conduct analyses of the data for reporting and prepare the data for distribution while respecting strict security and confidentiality standards. Researchers who wish to use the CLSA data are required to follow a formal process and apply to the Data and Sample Access Committee (DSAC). The DSAC has the responsibility to review applications for all proposed uses of the data and samples and to provide recommendations for approvals to the CLSA Scientific Management Team. Once approval is granted, a CLSA access agreement is completed and ethical requirements have been met, the SAC staff prepare the specific data requested for the researchers.
 
The CLSA is a large study and the data collected will be an exceptional resource for research. One of the underlying principles of the CLSA is that the data collected be made available to the research community as soon as it is feasible while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of participants. The staff at the SAC coordinate the processes involved in data access and utilization for researchers via a private and secure mechanism. The CLSA uses Mica (a software application used to create web portals for epidemiological study consortia) to provide information on the data available and the processes to apply for data access. The DataPreview Portal webpage provides includes a variable query engine that allows researchers to evaluate the potential of CLSA data for their project.
 
Contact Us
For any questions about the activities of the SAC, please contact the SAC manager.
Email inquiries: access@clsa-elcv.ca
Telephone: (514) 934-1934 ext. 71671
Mailing Address: CLSA Statistical Analysis Centre
Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
2155, Guy Street, 4th floor (Room 431)
Montreal, Quebec
H3H 2R9