Getting our heads around little big data

It sounds like a character from The Beano – but ‘little big data’ describes the size of the file of footfall data Springboard has just given IPM access to, which contains over 9 years of hourly footfall data, from locations around the UK.

This file of historical footfall will provide us with the data we need to test a number of assumptions (or maybe myths) about what affects the performance of the UK High Street.

This research forms part of a large government-funded Innovate project which will improve the customer experience of UK town centres, through improving the quality of place management decision making.

Today myself and Dr Christine Mumford at Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics, the Principal Investigator for the inductive and computational research stage of the project, have been orientating ourselves with the data (there is a lot of it) and writing the protocols for how we store and access the data – as it is, of course, very valuable.

The next stage is to identify a clear set of hypotheses or research questions we are going to answer, using Springboard’s historical footfall data – as well as other data such as population, employment, weather and retail sales.


3 thoughts on “Getting our heads around little big data

  1. This kind of data sharing and analysis is great to see. The footfall signatures you mention elsewhere are wonderfully familiar, and show not only how visitors and locals alike use our town centres, but describe how these places are changing & evolving over time. I look forward to seeing what emerges from this study.

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