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Consumer Data Research Centre

The £11m ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre is led by the University of Leeds and UCL, with partners at the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford.

The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) creates, supplies and maintains data for a wide range of users.  We work with private and public data suppliers to ensure efficient, effective and safe use of data in social science.


The Centre provides a national service to the research community to assist with research projects.  They hold a large amount of data that can be accessed via the data store, e.g. point of sale receipts, travel records & market research data.

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CDRC Research

CDRC research projects provide fresh perspectives on the dynamics of everyday life, along with better understanding of issues of economic well-being and social interactions in cities.

The Centre is collaborating with key partners to establish a network of projects that have a positive impact on society.

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CDRC Partners

The CDRC is a trusted partner that offers secure data services, resources and expertise that can leverage value from the consumer data you hold and improve data analytics capability.

The Centre works with key partners in business, local authorities and academia to open up their data to our trusted researchers. Organisations include Zoopla, AO, Shopdirect, Callcredit, Heart Research UK etc.

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Training & Capacity Building

The CDRC is investing significant resources to develop data science capability for new skills amongst managers and entrepreneurs.

Offering a range of training and data analytics programmes for academic and non-academic researchers, ranging from introductory courses for postgraduate students through to advanced training for data scientists.

The Centre also hosts fellowship and internship programmes, which provide the opportunity for researchers to interrogate consumer data and produce impactful outputs, with support and collaboration from a team of experts in the field of data analytics.

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CDRC Research Themes

Health and Wellbeing

There are a number of factors that affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. The World Health Organisation highlights that where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on our health.

Our research uses consumer data to explore how the physical environment we live in influences our behaviours, and how this affects our health and wellbeing.

Ethical and Sustainable Consumption

An increasing proportion of the population say they care about sustainable and ethical issues.

The number of shoppers translating this to ethical purchases in the UK has grown rapidly in the last decade – in 2018 Ethical Consumer valued the UK ethical market at over £83bn.

Our research in this area explores attitudes to ethical and sustainable consumption, models and forecasts consumer trends and market stability.

Crime and Emergency Services

In the UK our emergency services have to deal with a diverse range of problems on a daily basis – including safeguarding our communities, keeping our cities moving and even responding to civil emergencies such as flooding and terrorist attacks.

Our researchers are working with key partners to develop ways to use data analytics to better understand, predict and prevent crime and civil emergencies.

Population, Housing and Infrastructure

The world’s urban population is predicted to double by 2050 and, with it, the demand for housing, infrastructure and services will rise.

So many of the services we take for granted – water, digital connectivity, energy – take huge amounts of planning to get right.

Because the systems underpinning these services are so complex, the business of making decisions about where to focus investment requires sophisticated analytical support from our researchers.


The retail industry is constantly changing; analysing consumer data can help us to better understand the industry in terms of business resilience, customer mobility and changing buying habits.

Our researchers work in collaboration with leading retailers to produce a highly detailed picture of patterns of consumer behaviour that is relevant to businesses, academia and wider society.

Urban Mobility

High quality movement data from a range of transport sectors (rail, car, bike etc.) and footfall sensors allow researchers to better understand travel flows and commuter numbers and journeys.

Our researchers are developing detailed patterns of daily travel behaviour which are essential in supporting infrastructure planners in their efforts to design effective, affordable and sustainable networks.