The history of the IDSC is closely related to the German debate on better data access for independent scientific research, which began in 1998. In the wake of this discussion, the Commission for the Improvement of the Informational Infrastructure between Research and Statistics (KVI) was created. Following a 2001 report of the KVI, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) was founded as a permanent advisory council to the Federal Government.

Further information: http://www.ratswd.de/en/ratswd/development

In 2003, the IDSC was established, originally as a data service center at IZA, upon a recommendation from the RatSWD. The goal was to provide metadata on micro datasets relevant for research in labor economics. Several additional services evolved over time, including the provision of own datasets and the development of tools for controlled remote computing. In 2016, the IDSC was accredited by the RatSWD as a research data center.