This website places cookies on your device to help us improve our service to you. To find out more about the cookies, see our Privacy and Cookies notice
ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health

Detect Cancer Early

Data Source

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Data Source

Data Collection

NHS Boards across Scotland upload data to the DCE datamart from local Prospective Cancer Audit systems. The list of data items and definitions for each cancer can be found in the Cancer Audit QPI datasets. The DCE dataset is a subset of the full Cancer Audit QPI datasets as detailed in the DCE Data Items Download PDF file [21Kb]. NHS Boards submit an extract file for each cancer to the DCE datamart every quarter. Information on how the data is extracted and how the submission file is constructed can be found in the DCE Data Submissions Guide Download PDF file [715Kb].

Data Quality

In addition to local data quality checks, the data submitted to the DCE datamart is subject to a validation procedure. For a list of the validation rules refer to Appendix 2 of the DCE Data Submissions Guide Download PDF file [715Kb]. As well as ensuring that data for the correct location and time period is submitted, the validation ensures that the data is in the correct format and only contains accepted codes as set out in the Cancer Audit QPI datasets. If the submission file does not meet all of the validation rules then the whole file is rejected. The resulting errors are reported back to the submitting site where they must be amended and the file resubmitted. Once the file passes validation the data is loaded into the datamart where it is then available for analysis and reporting via Business Objects, an online reporting application.

ISD Scotland works closely with colleagues in the NHS Boards ensure that the data standards are understood and applied, and to investigate any concerns with the validation and accuracy of the data. A number of quality assurance reports are available for NHS Board users to examine the data and to ensure all records are valid before the data is published. There is also a facility to perform a case ascertainment whereby the number of records submitted is compared to Scottish Cancer Registry figures, another source of cancer diagnoses in Scotland.


In the time leading up to the publication NHS Boards are asked to sign-off the data locally and are given the opportunity to resubmit files if necessary. The data is then used to produce the statistics reported for their region in the annual publication. NHS Boards can use Business Objects to view the data in the published form at any time after the upload and during the publication cycle.


© ISD Scotland 2010
Information Services Division,
NHS National Services Scotland,
Gyle Square,
1 South Gyle Crescent,
Edinburgh EH12 9EB,
Tel: 0131 275 7050  
Contact Us

About Information Services Division | Contact Us | Accessibility | Complaints
Copyright | Terms and Conditions | Privacy | Freedom of Information

ISD is a division of NHS NSS
Working at the very heart of the health service, NSS delivers services critical to frontline patient care and in support of the efficient and effective operation of NHS Scotland. Visit the NSS Website for more information