Large, linked datasets of administrative records have been of immeasurable value to the health and social research community (Holman et al., 2008). As expressions of ‘big data’, these research datasets combine data from a range of administrative systems (e.g., hospital admissions), registers of certain conditions (e.g., autism), as well as outcome or status systems (e.g., death registrations). Data linkage is a technique that connects pieces of information that relate to the same person, family, place or event. These data sets enable the capacity to study disease burden and progression, care pathways and long‐term outcomes. To further extend the utility and value of these datasets, linked datasets are increasingly being complemented with data from the human services sector (e.g., disability, child protection, education and justice). This development presents exciting opportunities for occupational therapy research to study occupational performance issues at a macro level.