Introduction to Record Linkage with Big Data Applications

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Introduction to Record Linkage with Big Data Applications - Course Details

Delve into the course contents and find out about the faculty members.

Single Course Price:

800.00 EUR (tax exempt)



Manfred Antoni, PhD (Institute for Employment Research)
Prof. Stefan Bender (Deutsche Bundesbank)
Christian Borgs, PhD (Universität Duisburg-Essen)
Prof. Joseph W. Sakshaug (Institute for Employment Research)

Video lecture:

Manfred Antoni, PhD (Institute for Employment Research)
Prof. Stefan Bender (Deutsche Bundesbank)
Christian Borgs, PhD (Universität Duisburg-Essen)
Prof. Joseph W. Sakshaug (Institute for Employment Research)


Course Dates

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Book this course here!

In order to book the course with alumni conditions, please get in touch with Manon Pfeifer directly.

Course Description

Short Course Description
The course will address methods to combine data on given entities (people, households, firms etc.) that are stored in different data sources. By showing the strengths of these methods and by showing how each of them are performed in practice using R, the course will demonstrate the various benefits of record linkage. Participants will also learn about potential challenges that record linkage projects may face.

Students should have knowledge of basic statistical concepts. They need to have an intermediate knowledge of R. Familiarity with regular expressions, the R packages ggplot2 and tidyverse is useful but not required.

Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students will…

  • be familiar with a host of record linkage applications from different countries or jurisdictions that link a variety of data sources and use different types of linkage
  • know how to improve the quality of linkage identifiers by applying pre-processing routines
  • be familiar with different methods of increasing the efficiency of record linkage
  • be able to understand, select and apply appropriate record linkage methods (e.g., deterministic and probabilistic linkage)
  • be able to evaluate the success of data linkage
  • be able to perform each step in the record linkage process using the R software

Course Composition
This is a 4 ECTS course, which runs for 8 weeks. The content of the course is broken down into 8 units:

  1. Introducing record linkage in the age of Big Data
  2. Collecting and pre-processing linkage identifiers & blocking techniques
  3. Data preprocessing and core concepts of data quality for linking
  4. Comparison and classification of record pairs
  5. Probabilistic record linkage and blocking (application)
  6. Advanced topics, software options and literature review
  7. Privacy-preserving record linkage using R
  8. Evaluation and visualization of linkage quality

Learning and Teaching Methods
In this course, you are responsible for watching video-recorded lectures and reading the required literature for each unit prior to participating in mandatory weekly one-hour online meetings where students have the chance to discuss the materials from a unit with the instructor. In addition, students are encouraged to post questions about the materials covered in the videos and readings of the week in the forum on the course page before the meetings.

Grading will be based on:

  • 3 online quizzes (worth 30% total)
  • Participation in the weekly online meetings (worth 20%): engagement in discussions during the meetings and submission of questions in the forum on the course website
  • 3 homework assignments (worth 50% total)


ZFU Certification and Online Dispute Resolution

ZFU Certification

The Mannheim Master of Applied Data Science & Measurement program is certified according to the regulations of the ZFU (Staatliche Zentralstelle für Fernunterricht).


Online Dispute Resolution

Online dispute resolution according to Art. 14 Sect. 1 ODR-VO: The European Commission provides a platform for online dispute resolution (ODR). You can find more information under


Located in the heart of the German and European economy, Mannheim Business School (MBS), the umbrella organization for management education at the University of Mannheim, is considered to be one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany and is continuously ranked as Germany’s #1.