Consumer Data Research Centre

The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) is a Big Data initiative run jointly between University College London (UCL) and the Universities of Leeds, Liverpool and Oxford. Since 2014, it has aimed to provide the focus for ESRC's interests in the retail and consumer services sector and its commitment to capacity building in relation to big data. The CDRC is designed to preserve data that will provide retailers and academics alike with insights into medium and longer-term trends within an industry that is undergoing rapid and dynamic change.

The Centre seeks to open up consumer data resources and focuses on ways in which value can be extracted from new sources of data to benefit researchers in business, government and society at large.

Oxford's primary contribution to the project lies in the provision of capacity-building activity through building awareness of these resources with stakeholders, developing and supporting events, workshops and training. An annual CDRC Data Partners' Forum provides a opportunity for academics and their students to network with retailers and devise shared projects grounded in knowledge exchange.


  • Provide services to enable research access to business data that will provide safe and secure access for researchers to work on the data and will have the technical infrastructure to deliver a national open and secure service through a three-tier data system.
  • Collaborate with data owners and encourage the participation of further data owners through active engagement with retailers and other customer focused organisations.
  • Act as a centre of expertise in consumer data and to harness the potential of consumer-related Big Data.
  • Conduct and stimulate an original programme of research using the data made available, and explore ways to improve access to analysis of data, as well as opportunities for data linkage.
  • Develop a programme of knowledge exchange that will facilitate the exchange of skills, knowledge and technologies between the research base and practitioners/research users to realise the opportunities closer partnership and collaboration can bring.
  • Develop a programme to build capacity and capability in data analytics, within both the commercial and academic sectors.