Data Analytics

The Data Analytics Digital Service, or DADS, is a digital resource bringing together transactional services to locate and request research data with a collaboration and learning platform where researchers and practitioners can interact and develop a community of practice. It consists of four complimentary web applications; a Data Request Form, a Data Observatory, an Experts and Projects Forum, and a Knowledge Hub.

Collectively, the four web applications within DADS provide a one stop shop that improves the overall experience for both the police and academic researchers. Replacing the current patchwork of data requests made through both formal and informal channels will improve efficiency, bring greater transparency and improve the overall experience for both the police and academic researchers.

Data Request Form

The Data Request Form aims to simplify the process of making a research data request and to use the insight and data generated from the request process as a window to a better understanding of the policing data landscape.

Applicants make their request through a secure and easy to use interface that guides them through the request process. Requests to multiple forces can be handled through the submission of a single form and the applicant dashboard provides helpful information and enables the applicant to track requests through the system.

Within each partner force a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) handles data requests coming through the service. DADS provide SPOCs with tools that allow police forces to action research data requests in a streamlined and efficient way. Analytic tools to facilitate workload management, templated information sharing agreements and intelligence about the requests being submitted to other participating forces help promote a better understanding of the frequency, volume and research topics of data requests being submitted.

Data Observatory

The Data Observatory is a searchable register or catalogue of third-party data resources relevant to policing. These resources are not held in the Data Observatory; rather searching the observatory for a topic will return a list of resources with a summary of the content and a link to the third-party resource. Crucially, it will allow users to see across the range of sources (from open source systems, to organisational repositories) making sharable data held within organisations visible to the whole DADS community.

Where there are several gateways to the same data (e.g. census data) ratings and feedback from the community will help guide users to the resource that best meets their needs.

Experts and Projects Forum

The Experts and Projects moderated forum offers a safe space for users to develop and discuss potential collaboration opportunities and projects. Bringing together police forces with a problem, data that needs investigation and academics who wish to undertake research in that field. Research requests can be initiated by either policing or academic partners, with the forum providing a discussion board to advertise the project, scope the feasibility and recruit participants.

The forum will facilitate the development of a ‘data community’ that is it hoped can act as both a support network and a critical friend, allowing users to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding with the help of other data users from outside their organisation and day to day field of work.

Knowledge Hub

The Knowledge Hub will serves as a repository for learning resources relating to data analytics, this can be methods, software tools, code snippets, training materials and handbooks, links to online courses and more. It will also provide a list of upcoming events, either being offered by organisations within the DADS partnership or external events that may be relevant to users.

The hub will also host course materials for the Empowering Data Specialists in Policing CPD programme, providing outlines of upcoming sessions and associated module resources.


Data Specialists in Policing CPD Programme 2019

In 2018, the N8PRP’s Data Analytics and Training and Learning strands delivered an ambitious Continuous Professional Development programme to a cohort of 33 participants from 11 North of England forces.  Following on from this success, the N8 PRP will be running a second programme in 2019, seeking to make a practical step towards the digital transformation of policing by providing a foundation in essential data science methods and emergent technologies in machine learning and predictive analytics.


  • Setting the Scene: From Analysis to Data Science, (Re) Defining the role of Police Data Specialist
  • Analytical Approaches: Problem Orientated Policing
  • Analytical Approaches: Statistical Tests
  • Analytical Approaches: Visualisation
  • Analytical Approaches: Modelling
  • Analytical Approaches: Algorithmic Decision Making
  • Ethics and Data Governance
  • Futures: Predictive Policing

Who is eligible: 

This N8 Policing Research Partnership programme is designed for an audience who are data specialists, working in policing. The programme is inclusive and should attract participants from a variety of roles that involve the extraction, manipulation, analysis and reporting upon data and information. Previous participants have included strategic analysts, partnership analysts, data modellers , intelligence analysts and research co-ordinators.

Take Part:

This is a co-produced programme, if you would like to host or lead a module, reserve a place on the next programme or would like more information, please contact

Download our programme flyer here

Data Analytics Consultation Report

Contact Us

The Data Analytics project team are based at the University of Leeds, if you would like more information about the strand please contact Fiona McLaughlin in the project office.  If you want to know more about the areas of research expertise for members of the project team, please use Find An Expert or use the links below:

Professor David Allen, Leeds University Business School       

Dr Nick Malleson, School of Geography