consumer-behaviorThe last few years have seen a tremendous growth in the amount of data generated about consumer behaviour.  When analysed and interpreted correctly, this data can provide tremendous insights into how customers behave.

For instance, a recent study from researchers at Iowa State University found that there is a direct link between app usage and consumer spending, with the more engaging the app, the higher the spend from the consumer.

Insights such as these will hopefully flow forth on a regular basis from the recently launched Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) initiative that was commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The centre is a collaboration between the universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and University College London as well as industry and indeed the general public.

The aim of the facility is to provide a safe and secure data infrastructure for the collection and dissemination of data from retailers, local government and other businesses from throughout the UK.

Understanding consumers

The hope is that this vast repository of consumer data will underpin efforts to tackle various social and environmental challenges, whether they be providing ethical commerce or more efficient transport planning.

Professor Mark Birkin, Director of the CDRC at the University of Leeds, said: “We’re here to partner with policy-makers, organisations and businesses to analyse these huge data sets, as they contain really valuable information which can offer significant insights into our society. We’ve set up the centre to develop a professional, world-class service and resource, which offers incredibly high standards of secure data storage, access and analysis.”

The centre launches officially today (7th October) at the Demographics User Group Conference, and the potential of the centre is substantial.  For instance, CDRC is already classifying every neighbourhood in England based upon the Internet habits of consumers.

There is also a network to explore how data can help to tackle the obesity problem in Britain.  Datasets available for this endeavour include lifestyle and activity stats, consumer behaviour trends and health data.  The ambition is to better understand some of the lifestyles and environment that seem to support an individual becoming obese.

The data is open and available to use, and if you would like to get involved you should call 0113 343 0120 or visit