Data analytics

Datasets held by organisations and businesses are becoming so large and complex that traditional data processing software is no longer adequate to deal with them. To manage these big data, we need to devise new systems to capture, store and analyse it, while maintaining security and privacy.

The Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) is developing data analytics as a transformative technology and playing a crucial role where research, education and industry meet.

Key strengths

LIDA is underpinned by the Integrated Research Campus (IRC), an advanced computational infrastructure that is highly secure and scalable, to meet the needs of data-intensive research using personal and sensitive data securely.

LIDA brings together the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Consumer Data Research Centre and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Medical Bioinformatics Centre, as well as applied research groups and data scientists from all of our eight academic faculties. Through these collaborations, we are opening up new ways of understanding health and human behaviour, and a range of social and environmental challenges.

The institute’s partnerships demonstrate the breadth and the relevance of its research, from supporting NHS Digital to analyse and visualise its data, to working with Asda-Walmart to quantify the food waste of their customers.

Major projects

Informing Government cycling strategy

The Propensity to Cycle Tool - a central part of the Government’s Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Strategy - was developed by four UK universities, including academics from LIDA. The tool, funded by the Department for Transport, uses 2011 Census data on journeys to work. It offers four scenarios for transport planners, cycling advocates and the public to help decide which areas and routes should be prioritised for investment.

Improving bowel cancer care

The Bowel Cancer Intelligence UK programme aims to drill down into complex data to see how diagnosis and treatment approaches can be adjusted to reduce inequalities of care and improve outcomes. The challenge is to link all available data, while maintaining data security and patient confidentiality.

The researchers are working with cancer teams within regional hospitals, and using the findings to implement changes that can ensure the highest standard of care.

Leading research on urban analytics 

We're a partner of the The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. LIDA director Professor Mark Birkin leads the institute's urban analytics research programme

Facts and figures

  • LIDA brings together more than 200 researchers and data scientists with the University from various disciplines including medicine, biological sciences, geography, transport studies and mathematics.
  • The IRC platform provides a secure virtual research environment for each research project. It is accredited by the international standard for information security management, ISO/IEC 27001:2013.
  • THE IRC also meets the requirements to store health data shared by NHS Digital, Public Health England and other NHS or social care organisations.
  • The combined value of live research grants is £45 million.

Key people

Professor Mark Birkin
Director of LIDA

Philip Waywell
Research and Innovation Development Manager

If you would like to work, partner or collaborate with us, or want to know more about the research we are involved with, email