Institute for Analytics and Data Science

Our research

A history of pioneering new techniques

At Essex University, we have a long history in data science. Since the 1960s, our pioneering researchers have helped the world make the most of the opportunities science and technology can bring. Essex is one of the first three UK universities to house a central research activity in artificial intelligence (AI). 

Building on such strong foundation, IADS scientists lead the way in the next generation of computational and analytical methods to derive powerful insights from data. We have expertise in Data Science, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with focus on reinforcement learning, machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing, data visualisation, optimisation algorithms, causal inference, statistical modelling, computational statistics, sentiment analysis and decision making. 

We also have a strong record of applying theoretical research into practical applications to real world challenges. Our focus applications areas are health care, biology and bioinformatics, critical infrastructures, environmental sciences, linguistics, policy and government. For example, our researchers employ biological machine learning and computational methods to understand life’s evolutionary history, computational data analysis to explore the resilience of microbial communities, machine learning techniques to understand accent bias and its relationship to social factors such as class and gender, quantitatively analysis for classifying public opinion and predicting voting and artificial intelligence solutions to improve decision making for the security of critical infrastructures.

Our data scientists work together, crossing disciplinary boundaries, challenging conventional approaches, and using data to solve the big problems we face in all aspects of our lives.

That's what makes us different. And that’s why we have such a great track record in making the world a better place.

Project showcase

A history of pioneering new techniques

We have a long history in data science. Since the 1960s, our pioneering researchers have helped the world make the most of the opportunities science and technology can bring.

Essex is one of the first three UK universities to house a central research activity in artificial intelligence (AI). We’ve been working in AI, gamification, machine learning and understanding complex systems for five decades.

Our researchers have been field-defining. They developed complex multi-agent systems models to simulate prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies and understand the behaviour of social insects; they brought together philosophy and the rigour of computational logic to spearhead understanding of artificial intelligent systems and they created the first virtual world game.

Leading the way in the next generation of smart computational methods

What is the optimal age for children to start school? What are the most effective measures to support children of given socio-economic characteristics to attain better outcomes? What is the best personalised health plan for this individual?

These are just some of the important questions we’re trying to answer. The emphasis is no longer just on predictive analytics, but on prescriptive analytics. Not just what is going to happen in the future, but what we need to do to make it happen.

Essex scientists lead the way in the next generation of computational and analytical methods to derive powerful insights from data. Our researchers work on advanced analytics and machine learning techniques to enhance our knowledge of individuals and society.

We’re using the abundance of observational data available and can uncover complex and nuanced relationships on a scale never before possible. Our findings enable decisions and actions at the individual level – much better than making decisions based on averages that obscure important details.