Retail Research Master’s dissertations, 2012-14: retrospect and prospect - Guy Lansley

Retail Research Master’s dissertations, 2012-14: retrospect and prospect - Guy Lansley

Retail Research Master’s dissertations, 2012-14: retrospect and prospect - Guy Lansley, University College London

Presented at the Retail Research and Big Data ESRC Meeting 07/10/2014 - The Royal Society, London



  1. ESRC Retail Research Masters Dissertations 2012-2014: retrospect and prospect Guy

    Lansley 7th October 2014 The Royal Society, London
  2. Summary • Masters dissertations co-supervised by academics and a UK

    retail organisation, typical sponsorship of £500 • Topics are agreed through CDRC consistent with ESRC mission for high impact, independent research. Students lead the research • Work is undertaken between May-August • A national prize competition (1st and two runners up prizes) • Students present posters of their work at the annual DUG meeting in October • The first prize winner also makes a short presentation at the DUG CDRC session ESRC Link: sector/retail/retail-masters/index.aspx
  3. Retail Research and Data • Overall: • Academics get to

    work with business sector data; and/or businesses get to work with academic sector data
  4. Advantages • Sponsor • Projects may address important horizon-scanning questions

    • High impact case studies for universities • Positive implications for postgraduate student recruitment • Student • A unique opportunity to work with an industrial partner • First hand research experience in applied problem-solving • (Often) an opportunity to work with private retail data • University • Can be a gateway to further collaborations
  5. ESRC website

  6. Previous Sponsors (2012-14)

  7. The Students (2012-14) Leeds UCL Southampton Nottingham Warwick Leicester Kingston

    Other CHART TITLE • Undergoing a Masters at a UK institution • Typically MSc, MRes, MBA • Most common subjects: Geography/Geographic Information Science, Economics, Business, Computer Sciences, Management • Frequently multidisciplinary curricular
  8. Background • 2012 16 offered, 14 agreed allocations • 2013

    13 offered, 12 agreed allocations • 2014 16 offered, 8 agreed allocations 2012 – Key themes 2013 – Key themes
  9. ESRC Prizes • 2013 Prize winners: • Mobile Social Media

    (Rob Lea, UCL & M&S) • Census and location planning (Adam Dales, Southampton & Co-op) • Exploration of fusing geographies (Ionna Chounta, Southampton & Camelot) • Conference presentation slides are available from the Demographics User Group website (
  10. 2014 – Impact Statements • Outreach and impact: extended abstracts

    available to view on the CDRC website. • 2014/ • Handouts in delegate packs
  11. Challenges • Raising awareness amongst potential stakeholders • The timings

    of the application process • Many universities require MSc students to submit dissertation proposals in February • Problems granting students access to company data • Effective communication between students and industry supervisors • Conflicting research priorities • Timely access to business data • Timely access to academic sector data
  12. The Future • Encouraging a broader constituency of businesses •

    Inclusiveness: broadening the base of participating universities and disciplines • Regularising the project life cycle • Quality assurance and safeguarding student interest • Formalising realistic expectations of all parties • Need to regularise and routinize access to data
  13. Masters Project 2014 How Open Data Resources can be used

    to define a Composite Measure of Cultural Identity & Heritage for England and Wales Yiran Wei, Geospatial Analysis MSc Department of Geography, UCL Supervisors: Guy Lansley (UCL) Tim Rains (Sainsbury’s)
  14. Aim: to identify the major spatial traits in ethnic identity

    in England and Wales using a range of cultural and heritage indicators from the 2011 Census. Methods
  15. Results 2011 Cultural, Ethnic and Linguistic Output Area Classification for

    England and Wales
  16. Masters Project 2014 European Union Government Open Data in Market

    Research: Exploring Current Discussion among Stakeholders on Opportunity, Accessibility, Usability and Desired Outcomes Olga Tregubova MBA International Management Royal Holloway School of Management Supervisors: Justin O’Brien (Royal Holloway School of Management) Martin Bellingham (AXA PPP Healthcare)
  17. Uses for Open Data • Data as a competitive advantage

    • Data in strategy, market segmentation, merchandising and the consumer life cycle • Proprietary data for government • Barriers to Open Data: • Governance and bureaucratic inertia • Privacy risks • Intellectual property rights • Data quality and usability • Standardisation • Talent and investment
  18. Data in Europe • EU PSI Directive • Digital Agenda

    for Europe/Europe 2020 • EU Open Data Strategy • EU Open Data Portal • Opportunities for active participation
  19. Towards themed DTCs? • Accumulated experience and accumulated data •

    Critical mass of successful projects and regular annual cycle • Anticipate problems • Fasttrack solutions • Managing inter-sectoral research practices • Co-production of knowledge for PhDs
  20. Themed collaborative DTC cohort • Radoslaw Kowalski • M.Res Urban

    Sustainability and Resilience • PhD • 3 supervisors (Social Science, Engineering, Retail) • Underpinning Big Data themes and methodologies • Anticipated partners Argos, Boots, LDC, Co-operative Group
  21. 2015 – Funding for a fourth year of the Retail

    Research Masters Dissertation programme has been provided from the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre We plan to launch the next cohort in November 2014. We would welcome suggestions of potential topics – please email Guy Lansley in the first instance. Thank you for listening