Our purpose

As part of Phase 2 of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Big Data Network (BDN2), the UK Data Service has established a dedicated Big Data Network Support team (BDNS) to enable researchers to make the most of these data for knowledge exchange and impact.

BDNS supports and coordinates activities between three dedicated Data Research Centres focusing on Business and Local Government Data. These are: the Urban Big Data Centre, the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre and the Consumer Data Research Centre.

Our objectives are to:

  • unify data discovery across the Big Data Network Phase 2 (BDN2) data collections
  • coordinate user training and capacity building in big data analytics for researchers using the data
  • harmonise data acquisition, governance and access, across the Data Research Centres
  • encourage the sharing of information and expertise across the Data Research Centres
  • provide tailored support for each of the Data Research Centres
  • support access to, and the use of, new and novel forms of data beyond the lifetime of the current funding period of the BDN2

Our vision

By 2017, the UK Data Service BDNS will have:

  • established a support infrastructure enabling the Data Research Centres to facilitate access to their big data collections for research
  • enabled BDN2 users to develop impactful research by providing advice and signposting to the relevant Data Research Centre and data collections
  • established the BDN as an accessible and valuable resource for researchers and as the standard-setting authority on big data research
  • developed a technical infrastructure to ensure the safe and secure access to new and novel forms of data
  • developed a framework for effective knowledge exchange and capacity building between the Data Research Centres
  • developed a platform for the Data Research Centres to communicate with the wider big data community, which includes the international scientific community, commercial users of big data and citizens
  • become recognised within the UK social science and economic research community as a trusted source of information on the use of new and novel forms of data in developing impactful research

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