Phase 3 of the Big Data Network is focused on civil society data and new forms of data (previously social media data).

Civil Society

In 2014 the ESRC commissioned four Civil Society Data Partnership Projects, aimed at establishing or building on relationships between academic researchers and civil society organisations to demonstrate the value of improved data infrastructure, enabling collection and analysis of data which is of interest to civil society organisations and through enabling the sector to better utilise its own data. Please see here for more information on the funded projects.

New Forms of Data

In order to maintain momentum in the new forms of data area the ESRC has awarded £1.4 million of funding to the RCUK Digital Economy Hubs, to build on and/or enhance work they have been carrying out which is closely aligned to this agenda, as well as to conduct complementary activities which will contribute to the development of infrastructure for research using social media data. The funding has been awarded for a period of 18 months running from February 2014 to August 2015.

Scoping work is also currently been undertaken in relation to establishing a new international interdisciplinary centre in real-time data analytics, further details of which will be published in 2015. The proposed investment will constitute a world-leading infrastructure, bringing together researchers and practitioners to develop new tools, methods and data resources to enable analysis of new forms of data and to explore the potential for these data to be combined, shared and used in conjunction with existing social science data. This scoping work is following the indicative awarding to ESRC of up to £75 million for a range of activities as outlined in the Science Capital Roadmap published in December 2014.