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Consumer Data Research Centre

The Consumer Data Research Centre is working with industry and public sector partners to facilitate the use of consumer data in research to provide unique insight into lifestyle, activity, attitudes and behaviours and to help policy makers better understand the societal and economic challenges facing the country.

In November 2022 CDRC released the Priority Places for Food Index (PPFI), developed in collaboration with Which?, to identify the places in the UK where people are most likely to need support in accessing affordable food.

Which? used the PPFI to underpin their Affordable Food For All campaign, which called upon supermarkets to do more to help customers during the cost of living crisis.  The campaign generated support from over 100,000 members of the public and has so far resulted in the resulted in Aldi publicly committing to Which?’s ten point plan, the CMA Clamping down on supermarket pricing and Morrisons committing to stock budget products in its convenience stores.

We have also been working with policy makers to establish how the PPFI can be used alongside health dashboards across the UK to assess how food insecurity overlaps with health outcomes.

We have continued to strengthen our relationship with Leeds City Council, working together to develop tools to improve internal decision making within the Council, such as the Leeds Observatory Census Dashboard, which enables policy makers to access census data at the click of a button - providing a snapshot of society to Councillors and Council officials to support local policy making and neighbourhood resource allocation.

Professor Michelle Morris and Dr Victoria Jenneson, along with CDRC colleagues including Dr Francesca Pontin, Dr Emily Ennis and Dr Stephen Clark, have been recognised in this year’s ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for their collaboration with IGD and major retailers which tests interventions aimed at promoting healthy and sustainable diets.

Their insights have changed how supermarkets are promoting products to customers and how they are delivering their services. This has helped the food industry make changes that have improved access to healthy foods in supermarkets across the UK.

CDRC and our industry partners have supported a number of LIDA Data Scientist Development Programme projects including exploring trends in home food delivery purchases with an online food delivery provider and developing a proof-of-concept digital twin of a retail loyalty scheme to simulate customer behaviour change in response to incentives with a retailer.

The Centre continues to be the leading source of consumer data for academic research in the UK – we work with over 30 data owners to make consumer data available to trusted researchers via our data service.  Datasets from Airbnb, Domestic Energy Provider and Whenfresh/Zoopla continue to be popular and we have recently made data available from Mastercard and mobility and location data provider Spectus.

In 22/23 we delivered 14 introductory and intermediate short courses in R, Python, GIS and Tableau for academic and non-academic researchers.  We were pleased to be able to provide 30 free spaces this year on courses for individuals with protected characteristics via the CDRC Open Data Science Bursary.