The UK Data Service (external website) provides a unified point of access to the extensive range of high quality social and economic data, including UK census data, government funded surveys, longitudinal studies, international macrodata, qualitative data and business microdata. It is designed to provide seamless access and support to meet the current and future research demands of both academic and non-academic users, and to help them maximise the impact of their work.

About the UK Data Service

The UK Data Service replaces the earlier ESRC investments of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Secure Data Service (SDS), the Survey Question Bank and elements of the ESRC Census Programme.

The primary aim of the Service (external website) is to provide users with seamless and flexible access to data resources to facilitate high quality social and economic research.

The UK Data Service Governing Board has been replaced, as of November 2014, by the ESRC Data Infrastructure Strategic Advisory Committee (DISAC). DISAC is responsible for strategic oversight and the provision to the ESRC of independent assurance for the UK Data Service and investments made under the Big Data Network. DISAC is chaired by Professor Gordon Marshall, Director of Leverhulme Trust.

Census Support

UK Data Service-Census Support (external website) provides bespoke interfaces, query facilities and analysis tools that enable users to access, extract and analyse area statistics, digital boundary data, origin-destination flows and microdata from the 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 censuses. These tools are complemented with support from individuals with extensive experience in managing complex datasets and undertaking research projects and teaching initiatives based on census data.

Census Support also works closely with the UK national statistical agencies providing pre-release advice and facilitating user access to 2011 Census and related Beyond 2011 datasets.

UK Data Service-Census Support covers the census services previously provided by the Census Dissemination Unit (CDU), the Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR) the Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research (CIDER) and UKBORDERS.

Secure Lab

UK Data Service Secure Lab provides secure access to data that are too detailed, sensitive or confidential to be made available under a standard End User Licence or Special Licence.

The Secure Lab’s growing collection of approximately 40 datasets include business, social and economic microdata that are derived from surveys and administrative data.

Secure Lab was founded as the Secure Data Service in 2010 and continues to operate under a security philosophy based on training and trust, leading-edge technology, licensing and legal frameworks, and strict security policies and penalties.

Data accessed through the Secure Lab cannot be downloaded. Once researchers are specially trained, they analyse the data remotely from their institutional desktop or in a Safe Centre. The Secure Lab provides access to statistical and office software to make remote analysis and collaboration secure and convenient.

Once data analysis is complete, Secure Lab staff apply statistical control techniques to ensure the delivery of safe statistical results.