Our purpose

Article Image

"Delivering quality social and economic data resources"


To continue to be a critical part of the UK’s research infrastructure where the exceptional economic and social data we make available are central to the achievement of excellence in research, teaching and in the realisation of public benefit.


To support high quality social and economic research, teaching and learning through assuring long term access to quality economic and social data, supporting and promoting their use, value and impact.

In essence, our primary aim is to provide service users with seamless and flexible access to a wide range of data resources to facilitate high quality social and economic research and education. All of our activities stem from this aim.

We want to be:

  • Recognised as the first port of call for UK social science researchers, within and beyond academia, for data and related resources.
  • Make data and related resources discoverable from a single point of entry, regardless of where the data are held or how the data may be accessed (open, safeguarded or secure).
  • Be recognised as a trusted source of data, delivered through a range of closely integrated services.
  • Influence data owners and creators within and beyond government regarding data collection strategies and the standards and technologies employed.
  • Be flexible to deal with changing needs of major stakeholders.
  • Be a force in the further development of the UK data landscape.
  • Demonstrate an improvement in economic impact.
  • Continue to be easy to use.
  • Have a highly recognised brand and identity.

Our key activities

We will achieve our vision by:

  • Selecting the right data to maximise use and subsequent impact. This will be achieved through the implementation of a Collections Development Policy.
  • Ingesting to ensure data quality and long-term preservation (as appropriate). This will be maximised by streamlining and automating as many ingest and preservation processes as possible.
  • Archiving to ensure the long-term integrity and access to data brought into the service. This will be maximised by streamlining and automating as many ingest and preservation processes as possible.
  • Providing access to ensure that users can find relevant data, and can access and analyse them appropriately. This will be achieved by building new resource discovery tools, ensuring safe settings for secure access, and by maximising the use of metadata provided by other data services.
  • Providing support so users can get information about finding, accessing and using data. This will be achieved through excellent communications, a training programme and the employment of skilled and knowledgeable staff.
  • Management necessary to provide the planning, resources, coordination and measurement to deliver the above services.

Back to top  

The new UK Data Service website will go live, 12 August 2021. Redirections from the old site will be in place but we also recommend you remove old bookmarks and add new ones.


Quick Access To