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Smart Data Research UK

Let’s do good
things with data

We’re the UK’s national programme for smart data research. Our mission is to unlock the power of data to improve lives.

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Smart Data Research UK

What is smart data?

Smart data is made whenever we engage with the digital world. When we buy something, ‘like’ something, or get directions.

If used for scientific research, smart data can change our world. It can help us to understand important social challenges, from disease prevention to climate change.  

What we do

Working with companies

Smart Data Research UK brings together companies, researchers and the public to unlock the power of smart data for research. 

Supporting researchers

We provide researchers with safe access to smart data.

Our work

Smart Data Research UK prioritises public involvement, transparency, ethics and responsibility.

We have a powerful opportunity to understand society

Research themes

Productivity and prosperity for all

Smart data can help us understand what drives growth and innovation. It helps us plan infrastructure for different communities across the UK and tackle inequalities. The advent of smart data sources provides a unique opportunity to study the factors that influence productivity and prosperity. These sources include professional social networks, transaction records and remote sensing.

Health and wellbeing

Smart data can provide insights to improve population health and tackle inequalities. It can help us understand the drivers of the mental health crisis, and how we might live longer, healthier lives. Data sources might include financial transactions, loyalty cards, social media and wearable devices. Using the data, we can better understand the links between health, wellbeing, behaviours, circumstances and places.

Digital society

Smart data can provide insights about online safety, misinformation, the digital divide and the future of work. The digital society research theme encompasses studying data from social media, search queries and online activity is vital for understanding the challenges and opportunities of advancing technology. 


Smart data can help tackle issues such as decarbonisation, green growth and the transition to a sustainable future. Data generated through our use of devices and the data gathered by sensors have huge potential to support research related to environmental sustainability, one of our four research themes.

Latest news and funding

All news and funding articles ordered by publication date


TREs: New data, new challenges

In this World of Smart Data blog, Deborah Wiltshire talks about creating new digital behavioural data products.

Google Health event Event

Using internet search data to improve health research

Join Smart Data Research UK for a webinar with Google Health UK at 1:00pm BST on Thursday, 25 July 2024.

Female gamer News

£1.8m for new smart data research

Smart Data Research UK is awarding funding to seven university teams under its new accelerator scheme.  

Elena Musi Blog

Getting smarter about smart data

Elena Musi blogs about Smart Data Research UK's digital data dive at the University of Liverpool.

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