A short film highlighting data sets available from the UK Data Service that could be used to develop new solutions to environmental business problems.
“We’ve understood that it’s really important that social and economic data is used in order to enhance environmental research.” – Matthew Woollard, Director, UK Data Service
The Technology Strategy Board and NERC have invested £4m during 2014 to run feasibility studies which use environmental data to address a specific business issue in transport, food, agriculture, energy generation and supply, built environment and future cities or financial services.
Matthew Woollard, Director, UK Data Service
The UK Data Service is the repository for UK social and economic data. It’s a collaboration between the universities of Essex, Manchester and Southampton, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
The UK Data Service holds over 6000 data collections. What we’re mandated to do by the ESRC is to go to government departments and collect the best, the richest, the highest quality data for research and make these available for re-use.
We’ve been working with the UK environmental observation framework which has understood that it’s really important that social and economic data is used in order to enhance environmental research.
Three key examples of microdata that we hold that are going to be of value to environmental research are the census which is conducted by the Office for National Statistics, the National Travel Survey, and the Labour Force Survey which is conducted by the Department for Work and Pensions.
We also provide access to the International Energy Authority statistics which give key environmental indicators across the world.
Understanding Society is the largest survey funded by the ESRC. It asks questions of 40,000 householders and its a longitudinal survey which means the same individuals are returned to year on year.
Recent research carried out has helped government, that’s national and local government, plan their transport facilities.
The UK Data Service also holds a large collection of data from the Rural Economy and Land Use programme. These data are very good examples of showing the linkage of data from different sources, and they show the relationship between people and the environment.
One of the more widely used studies in this collection is on social and economic inequalities in England. The inequalities highlighted included access to public transport, to green space, to shops and to other services.
Many of the data we collect have restricted geographical information. Geography has sometimes been removed to protect the confidentiality of the individuals who have been surveyed.
The UK Data Service is very keen to work with data owners to open up data to users who haven’t traditionally been allowed access to these data and that includes business.
The portal to all of our services is our website. You can find it at http://ukdataservice.ac.uk.
About the film
Filmed on location at University of Essex, Colchester.
Director: Martyn Bull
Producer: Thomas Delfs
Camera: Mark Whatmore
Editor: Liam Angell
Cast: Matthew Woollard
- UK Data Service
- Economic and Social Research Council
- Solving business problems with environmental data (NERC)
- Solving business problems with environmental data (TSB)