Consumer Data Research Centre

Research Case Studies

The aim of the Centre is to provide a national service to support a wide range of users to carry out research projects that provide fresh perspectives on the dynamics of everyday life, problems of economic well-being and social interactions in cities.  To demonstrate the value of our data holdings,  researchers at our host universities are currently undertaking Big Data exemplar research projects in the following areas:



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. CDRC is producing a highly detailed picture of patterns of consumer behaviour that is relevant to businesses, academia and wider society.


Detecting Postcode Error in Loyalty Card Data

The Geography of Delivery Failure

Analysis of Click & Collect Services

Demographic and scale consumption behaviour of Youth population in the UK

Case Study: Assessing self-management behaviours of ovarian cancer patients before their diagnosis using commercial data: a proof of concept study

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


Representing Population Dynamics from Administrative and Consumer Registers

Understanding Footfall using Wi-Fi sensor data in the Smart City

Real time simulation of daily travel patterns

Case Study: Southwark Council




The nature of household energy consumption is receiving increasing attention amongst academics and industry stakeholders. Smart meter technology is making it possible to monitor geotemporal patterns of energy consumption and gauge the sensitivity of energy consumption to price and other probable household and environmental circumstances.


Identifying the Fuel Poor from Consumption Behaviour



Ethical Consumption


A large proportion of the population claim that they are motivated to consume ethically, and it is estimated that the UK’s ethical market is now worth over £32 billion. However research shows that the numbers of consumers that consistently act on those ethical motives are much fewer.


Investigating factors behind low or zero household recycling rates in Leeds

Tackling food waste with Asda


Health & Lifestyle


Health concerns such as obesity are a growing concern in the UK. Through the analysis of consumer data researchers are able to better understand how the environment in which we live influences our behaviours, which can lead to these health issues.


The Geography of Women’s Diets in the UK

Case Study: Assessing self-management behaviours of ovarian cancer patients before their diagnosis using commercial data: a proof of concept study


Crime & Policing


Analysis of social media data allows us to identify and better understand crime hot spots. This research explores ways to identify which times and places have the largest concentrations of potential crime victims, and hence which hotspots pose the most significant problems. The aim is to help incident response and crime reduction organisations to focus their resource more effectively.


Enumerating the ambient population in the context of crime