UK Data Service: Solving business problems with environmental data

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.

The UK Data Service is mandated to collect the highest quality data for economic and social research and make these available for re-use.

The UK Data Service is mandated to collect the highest quality data for economic and social research and make these available for re-use.

Transcript

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.

University of Essex, home of the UK Data Service for economic and social data.

University of Essex, home of the UK Data Service for economic and social data.

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.

Data about social and economic inequalities highlights access to public transport, to green space, to shops and to other services.

Data about social and economic inequalities highlights access to public transport, to green space, to shops and to other services.

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.

Data about social and economic inequalities highlights access to public transport, to green space, to shops and to other services.

Data about social and economic inequalities highlights 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.

Social and economic data is online permanently to use in environmental applications.

Social and economic data is online permanently to use in environmental applications.

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

Client: ESKTN
Production company: insitu

Further reading

Social and environmental data from the UK Data Service can be used by business.

Social and environmental data from the UK Data Service can be used by business.

 

Leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s