Service promise

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"Our commitment to you"

The importance of good service. 

The UK Data Service wants to provide the highest possible level of service.  We aim to deliver our services in the most effective and efficient way and we are committed to continuous improvement.

We endeavour to perform to the highest of standards to ensure that the value of the economic and social data we hold can be maximised.  We recognise the significance of our role in your work and how a reliable service delivered by people that you can trust, and work well with, is vital. Everybody at the UK Data Service understands that the work we put in each day has a direct impact on data-related research and policy.

service promise

  • As the leading provider of economic and social data in the UK, we aim to take our users to data download or data exploration, where access conditions permit, as quickly as possible.  For those data which are not immediately downloadable, we will provide access or an explanation about access.  
  • Registration to use our data will be a smooth process, with a clear explanation of any requirements that must be fulfilled to gain access to the data. If you are not eligible to access data you will be told why. 
  • Under the Data Protection Act we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from users. Our privacy policy relates to personal data collected in the course of registration for access to services and during user consultations. 
  • We aim to provide information and services in a clear and concise manner, avoiding unnecessary jargon or technical language wherever possible, or offering assistance where such use is necessary.
  • We provide user support in the form of an email help desk and telephone help line.  Our helpdesks are available from 9am – 5pm on working days when the University of Essex is open; any known closures within these hours will be well advertised in advance. All queries submitted online to our helpdesks will receive an automated acknowledgement.  A member of staff will then respond in a time appropriate to the level of detail of your query. Please note that specialised queries will take longer to answer than those that are more straightforward, and during busy periods we may take longer than usual to respond.
  • We endeavour to keep our websites available 24/7, using automated monitoring systems.  Our scheduled downtimes are advertised at least two weeks in advance and usually much longer.  Essential maintenance work is carried out on the whole service during the JANET at-risk period between 7:00 and 9:00 on Tuesdays.  Essential Secure Lab maintenance work is carried between 10:00 and 12:00 on Tuesdays.  This work allows us to maintain and enhance the many services we provide.  We aim to keep all our services available during this work; however, some of our services may unavailable during our advertised at-risk periods. View our service update status
  • Services provided on our websites aim to be well laid out, enabling you to identify available resources, directing you to the resources you need or to the people who can provide you with access to such resources.
  • We are committed to following agreed best standards and good practice in web design and usability. Our accessibility policy sets out our standards on accessibility
  • All interactions with our users will be conducted with friendly professionalism.

are we fulfilling our promise?

We report to our funders on our performance against key performance indicators on a regular basis.  Every month, we also review the responses to our pop-up user satisfaction survey and we conduct further user or stakeholder consultations at other intervals.   We review feedback we receive and develop actions to improve our service based on users’ feedback.

We are always pleased to know when we have got things right and especially if any member of staff has provided an excellent service. This helps us to understand users' views and to reinforce best practice. To provide positive feedback you can either contact the member of staff they have dealt with directly or use one of the other methods of contact.  

We appreciate feedback on all aspects of our service.  Please contact us to leave your suggestions for improvement.

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