Empowering society through research

Our research focusses on four main streams and aims to use advanced data techniques to deliver improvements for people, policy and business. We also support researchers in their work by offering data analytics training.

Our research

Across four universities our researchers investigate four streams which have the potential to benefit society and they'd love to hear from you if you're carrying out similar resarch. The Support for Vulnerable People stream investigates the support and care that vulnerable people need and aims to help influence policy and improve public services in this area. Our Local Economic Growth stream investigates the key factors that hinder business growth and could help councils and government to create development plans and industrial strategies to make communities thrive. The Mapping Public Access to Green Infrastructure stream aims to address a lack of information across the country about where green spaces are and whether they are accessible to the public, creating a meaningful dataset that can be used by councils to assist with planning decisions, infrastrucutre provision and public wellbeing. These three thematic streams are supported by our cutting edge research on Methodologies for Big Data Analytics which ensures our research uses the latest techniques and maximises the possibilities of what your data can be used for.

Data analytics training

We have carried out a number of successful training courses and always welcome academic researchers and students. Throughout 2017/18 we are expecting to offer many free training courses and seminars across the UK.

The BLG Summer School 2017 was designed for attendees, including academics and students, to get hands-on experience with different data analytics tools and techniques. The event was delivered by experienced researchers and expert staff from the Centre who worked with the attendees to help them approach various tasks, using different software packages. This enabled attendees to understand approaches to data analytics which they may not have previously had exposure to, and which could help them later in a workplace or research project. Topics included:

  • An Introduction to GIS - this has focused on the use of both the ArcGIS and QGIS software packages.
  • An Introduction to Agent Based Modelling.
  • An Introduction to Social Network Analysis.
  • Experimentation process.
  • What Works? Processes and techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions.

Dr Maged Ali, Senior Lecturer at Essex Business School, sent us feedback from one of our courses:

"I have attended a full week of Big Data technologies/methodologies training conducted by ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre. I have to say, it was a great use of my time, and a good mix of various methods that enrich my understanding of Big Data. The most interesting part was, definitely, the practical part, where we have learned how to apply theory through hands-on exercises."

Our regular webinars are free of charge for anybody to attend. View our upcoming events, training and webinars now or visit our Vimeo page to watch back recordings from past events.

Data storage and access

The Centre holds data for research purposes and through a partnership with the UK Data Archive holds its controlled data in a highly secure environment. The Centre is able to provide access to this and other controlled data held within the UKDA via its safe rooms as the University of Essex and University of East Anglia. If you would like to enquire about the use of these safe rooms or if you believe we may hold other data which could aid you in your research then please contact the data team.

Research workshops and events

Our expert researchers like to share their latest research with the wider research community. If you're interested in their work then please let them know as they're likely to be very pleased to be invited to speak. Otherwise, keep an eye on this page and we'll update it when events are planned.

Case Studies

We publish an enormous amount of complex data, but we are aware that not all of our audience comes from an academic background. Our Case Studies serve to condense previously published academic work into a more digestible format.