ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre

Part of School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

We provide a framework and support for data owners and researchers.

The ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre is a collaborative project between the Universities of Essex, East Anglia, Kent and the London School of Economics (LSE).

Established in January 2014, we are one of three centres competitively selected by ESRC to receive a share of £28 million for research on big data, with core funding of £14 million to establish the big data centres in phase II. External partners include: Essex County Council; Norfolk County Council; Kent County Council; Medway Council; BT; Experian; Lloyds’ Bank and Aviva.


Our strategy


Our physical repository, based at the University of Essex, securely stores data from businesses and local authorities. Data routinely collected by business and local government organisations is available to academics, industrial, third sector and government researchers as a national resource to facilitate outstanding social science research that safeguards all individual identities.

Research programme

Our research programme provides methodological advances for the analysis of big data. We facilitate innovative, substantive and inter-disciplinary research on smart, sustainable and inclusive regional economic growth. This research can be used to inform policy development, implementation and evaluation.

Training and knowledge exchange

Our training and knowledge exchange programme offers users a suite of data solutions. From training to consultancy, we help businesses and local government to maximise the value of their data to research the drivers of economic growth and the provision of services.

Creating awareness

Our engagement and communication programme raises awareness of the benefits and costs of using big data, whilst stressing the importance of using data responsibly.

Our work

We aim to:

  • become a national centre of expertise for data users across academic and non-academic sectors
  • offer a vibrant environment to foster and enable innovative research
  • support business, local government and academics to harness the potential of complex big data where traditional analysis techniques may not apply.
Get in touch
Get in touch
Business and Local Government Data Research Centre University of Essex 
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872327
Essex Business School University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873333