The Social Data Science Lab at Cardiff University is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) strategic 'Big Data' investment that brings together social, computer, political, health, statistical and mathematical scientists to study the methodological, theoretical, empirical and technical dimensions of New Forms of Data in social and policy contexts. This empirical social data science programme is complemented by a focus on ethics and the development of new methodological tools and technical/data solutions for the UK academic and public sectors.

The Lab was established in 2015 and continues the successful COSMOS programme of research that ran between 2011-2015. The Lab’s mission is to democratise access to big social data among the academic, private, public and third sectors, and to support real-time social data analytics for research, policy & practice. Lab Directors Professor Matthew Williams and Dr. Pete Burnap were appointed to the ESRC Phase 3 Big Data Network Working Group in 2014. The Lab forms part of Cardiff University's Data Innovation Research Institute and is located within the Social Science Research Park (SPARK). The Lab's research falls within the six themes below.


Tackling Hate Online: New Guides for the Public

10 October 2016 A team of experts from Cardiff University have joined forces with the Welsh Government to develop three new on-line guides to help stem the rising tide of hate online. Professor Matthew Williams from the University’s Social Data Science Lab and Dr Pete Burnup from the School of Computer Science and Informatics have worked with … Continue reading Tackling Hate Online: New Guides for the Public

Lab wins Prestigious Grant from US Department of Justice

16 September 2016      Partnership between Cardiff University’s Social Data Science Lab and the RAND Corporation awarded National Institute for Justice grant Together with the RAND Corporation (Santa Monica, LA) and Rand Europe (Cambridge, UK) Professor Matt Williams and Dr. Pete Burnap have been awarded a research grant by the National Institute of Justice, part of the US … Continue reading Lab wins Prestigious Grant from US Department of Justice

Scientists combat cyber-attacks on Twitter

University researchers develop intelligent system to identify malicious links spread through social media Cyber-criminals are taking advantage of real-world events with high volumes of traffic on Twitter, such as the Superbowl and Cricket World Cup, in order to post links to websites which contain malware. To combat the threat posed in this ‘perfect environment’, researchers … Continue reading Scientists combat cyber-attacks on Twitter

‘World-leading’ predictive tools will be used by Met Police to monitor real-time crime events

The data produced by these users have been used to predict elections, movie revenues and even the epicenter of earthquakes.