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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ES/L011840/1
Title Retail Business Datasafe
Status Completed
Energy Categories Not Energy Related 90%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 10%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Geography and Environmental Studies) 25%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 25%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Statistics and Operational Research) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 100%
Principal Investigator Professor PA Longley
No email address given
University College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 14 February 2014
End Date 13 February 2019
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £6,117,615
Industrial Sectors
Region London
Programme Resources
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor PA Longley , Geography, University College London (99.991%)
  Other Investigator Professor M Batty , Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London (0.001%)
Dr JA Cheshire , Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London (0.001%)
Dr T Cheng , Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London (0.001%)
Professor TB Fischer , Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Dr P Williamson , Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Dr C D Lloyd , Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Dr A Singleton , Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Dr V Mikhaylov , Political Science, University College London (0.001%)
Dr J Reynolds , Said Business School, University of Oxford (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Marks and Spencer (0.000%)
Project Contact , E.ON UK (formerly PowerGen) (0.000%)
Project Contact , J Sainsbury Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , The Cooperative Group (0.000%)
Project Contact , O2 Telefonica Europe plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Local Data Company (0.000%)
Project Contact , Swinton Group Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Esri, USA (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Today, 'Big' customer retail market data are created in many areas, including grocery retailing, energy, health and wellbeing, insurance, mobile communications and retail banking. Such data represent ever greater proportions of the total data collected about citizens and are almost exclusively accumulated by the private sector. Analysis of such sources can offer many new insights into contemporary lifestyles.Our vision is to create a service that will open up the data resources routinely collected by the retail business sector to academic research, training and capacity building. Crucially, this will be done in ways that users in academia, business and government will find efficient, effective and safe to use. Retail Business Datasafe (RBDS) will allow users to access new sources of data from organisations, and receive authoritative advice on such data and their quality and the ways in which they can be linked to official surveys, administrative data or social media sources. There will also be a full and novel range of related Big Data research training and capacity building activities, developed in close association with the retail industry.RBDS will provide focus for ESRC's interests in the retail sector and its commitments to capacity building in relation to Big Data research skills. It will also develop a wider service role for other social science research that will benefit from the availability of consumer data.RBDS will do this by building upon the recent achievements of the ESRC Retail Research and Data Initiative, in order to develop a sustainable national partnership between the academic, retail and government sectors. This will foster the co-production of skills and knowledge and see the wider deployment of consumer data in academic, business and government research. As such, RBDS will be a strategic and complementary initiative to the ESRC's investments in Big Data centres for administrative and social media data by collating different retail datasets safely and anonymously for research purposes.In this radical and transformative initiative, RBDS will work with retailers to devise and implement data services that provide safe and effective access for the academic, business and government communities, and engage the retail industry in problems of common concern. The work will build on the recommendations of the Administrative Data Taskforce (ADT) with respect to release, security and anonymisation. It will also link to best practices for scientific analysis and visualisation of retail data in the United States, propelling the UK to world leadership in reuse of consumer data for the public good.The advent of Big Data in social science applications has led to a growing need for capacity to undertake research using large, complex and linked datasets. To this end, RBDS will develop a range of advanced training and CPD initiatives that will foster collaboration with a full range of academic disciplines, and provide businesses with access to researchers and skills through knowledge exchange opportunities.RBDS will also facilitate linkage of data generated and held by the UKDS and other ESRC Big Data centres with those from the private sector. A fundamental problem with Big Data arising from retail transactions, in common with many sources, is that their provenance is unknown. RBDS will thus develop methods and use other Data Centre investments to assess the robustness and reliability of retailer data relative to administrative and other official data sources. RDBS will work with the UK Data Service (UKDS) to preserve data that will provide retailers and academics alike with insights into medium and long term trends in retailing. Its split site location will be shared by the UCL Chorley Institute (an open plan office environment dedicated to multidisciplinary research), in dedicated refurbished space at the University of Liverpool and in the Oxford Institute of Retail Management
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/05/14