How to access our data


We offer researchers from academic institutions, local government and businesses new opportunities to access a variety of data in full accordance with legislative requirements and data owner’s stipulations in a safe and controlled way. Whether you are looking for open, safeguarded or controlled data we can help you access it.

The information on this page shows the process for accessing data held by the Centre. If you are familiar with this process and already know which datasets you require from our Data Portal, and they are safeguarded or controlled, then you can complete a Data Access Request now. Otherwise please read the information below or contact us to talk through your project and data needs.



We welcome applications from:

  • Researchers who are affiliated with an academic institution
  • Public sector researchers
  • Private sector analysts



Overview of application process

Open data

  • Browse our Data Portal
  • Download datasets
  • Publish your research


Safeguarded data

  • Browse our Data Portal or contact us to discuss your requirements
  • Complete a Data Access Request
  • We’ll contact you if we need further information
  • Your request is sent to the Project Approval Board
  • If approved:
  • Sign an end user licence
  • Download the data from your Data Portal account or use in our secure environment (depending on the data set)
  • Publish your research


Controlled data

  • Browse our Data Portal or contact us to discuss your requirements
  • Complete a Data Access Request
  • We’ll contact you if we need further information
  • Your request is sent to the Project Approval Board
  • If approved:
  • Sign an end user licence
  • Receive training to use a secure data environment (a one day training course taking place every two weeks)
  • Access datasets in our safe room
  • Publish your research



More about the application process

If you have a research project that would benefit using data from business or local government, we may be able to help. It can be a long process, because researchers will potentially be working with sensitive data − so we have a number of safeguards in place to protect people’s privacy and ensure the data is kept safe. We train researchers to use data safely, lawfully and responsibly.

The first step is to contact our data services team with your proposal and an idea of what data you want or to browse our Data Portal. If the data you wish to access come under the bracket of safeguarded or controlled you will need to complete a Data Access Request which will be passed to the Project Approval Board.

Requests are assessed on an individual basis and the data owner will be asked whether it allows an approved researcher to use their data for a specific project.

The Project Approval Board will develop its assessment criteria based on, but not limited to:


  • Alignment within one of the Centre’s research streams; methodologies for big data analysis, local economic growth, supporting vulnerable people or mapping public access to green infrastructure.
  • Public interest – the potential for ‘public benefit’;
  • Scientific merit – the potential to advance scientific knowledge, understanding or methods;
  • Privacy and ethics – the potential privacy impacts or risks, and wider ethical considerations;
  • Project feasibility and competence of research group;
  • Conforms to the Centre's Data Acquisition Plan, draw up by an independent committee.

Once your project has been approved we will offer you the correct training required to access the data and will continue to offer guidance throughout your project. Before your research is published we will check the output to ensure any sensitive data are not released.

How to access our data


How our data can improve your research. We offer researchers from academic institutions, local government and businesses new opportunities to access a variety of data in full accordance with legislative requirements and data owner’s stipulations in a safe and controlled way. Whether you are looking for open, safeguarded or controlled data we can help you access it.

The information on this page shows the process for accessing data held by the Centre. If you are familiar with this process and already know which datasets you require from our Data Portal, and they are safeguarded or controlled, then you can complete a Data Access Request now. Otherwise please read the information below or contact us to talk through your project and data needs.



We welcome applications from:

  • Researchers who are affiliated with an academic institution
  • Public sector researchers
  • Private sector analysts



Overview of application process

Open data

  • Browse our Data Portal
  • Download datasets
  • Publish your research


Safeguarded data

  • Browse our Data Portal or contact us to discuss your requirements
  • Complete a Data Access Request
  • We’ll contact you if we need further information
  • Your request is sent to the Project Approval Board
  • If approved:
  • Sign an end user licence
  • Download the data from your Data Portal account or use in our secure environment (depending on the data set)
  • Publish your research


Controlled data

  • Browse our Data Portal or contact us to discuss your requirements
  • Complete a Data Access Request
  • We’ll contact you if we need further information
  • Your request is sent to the Project Approval Board
  • If approved:
  • Sign an end user licence
  • Receive training to use a secure data environment (a one day training course taking place every two weeks)
  • Access datasets in our safe room
  • Publish your research



More about the application process

If you have a research project that would benefit using data from business or local government, we may be able to help. It can be a long process, because researchers will potentially be working with sensitive data − so we have a number of safeguards in place to protect people’s privacy and ensure the data is kept safe. We train researchers to use data safely, lawfully and responsibly.

The first step is to contact our data services team with your proposal and an idea of what data you want or to browse our Data Portal. If the data you wish to access come under the bracket of safeguarded or controlled you will need to complete a Data Access Request which will be passed to the Project Approval Board.

Requests are assessed on an individual basis and the data owner will be asked whether it allows an approved researcher to use their data for a specific project.

The Project Approval Board will develop its assessment criteria based on, but not limited to:


  • Alignment within one of the Centre’s research streams; methodologies for big data analysis, local economic growth, supporting vulnerable people or mapping public access to green infrastructure.
  • Public interest – the potential for ‘public benefit’;
  • Scientific merit – the potential to advance scientific knowledge, understanding or methods;
  • Privacy and ethics – the potential privacy impacts or risks, and wider ethical considerations;
  • Project feasibility and competence of research group;
  • Conforms to the Centre's Data Acquisition Plan, draw up by an independent committee.

Once your project has been approved we will offer you the correct training required to access the data and will continue to offer guidance throughout your project. Before your research is published we will check the output to ensure any sensitive data are not released.