Data from various retail and service businesses based in the United Kingdom is shared with the Consumer Data Research Centre (CRDC), a branch of the UK Ecnonomic and Social Research Council's Big Data Network. Concsumer data includes: sales data from till receipts, loyalty card and reward scheme data, market research data, travel records, retail turnover by store or product category, and energy consumption meter data.
Consumer data is available to researchers through three different levels of access on CDRC's website. The organization offers an open data portal through registration and download. The CRDC offers data through a "Safeguarded" tier, which includes data with restricted access due to licensing conditions. The third "Controlled" tier contains data with stringent access restrictions, as some of the data may be personally identifiable. In order to access Safeguarded CDRC data, researchers must submit proposals for the use of the data, while Controlled data can only be accessed at secure facilities at the University College London or University of Liverpool after proposal approval by the Research Approvals Group (RAG), which includes representatitves from the UK Data Service, an independent academic representative, the Chair of the CDRC Advisory Board, a CDRC data scientist, and a data partner representative.
Consumer data is made available through the Consumer Data Research Centre in order to ensure a sustainable future for consumer data research sharing in the United Kingdom, to support innovation efforts of consumer-related organizations, and to drive economic growth. The CDRC also hopes to enrich the social science research through linking consumer data to a broader range of studies.