Digital innovation, consumer behaviour and marketing
Nottingham University Business School has a strong heritage in research that explores consumer behaviour – from purchasing behaviour and decision-making, to health decisions and product disposal decisions.
Our Marketing Department and the N/LAB behavioural analytics research centre use a range of methods to carry out their research, from machine learning to ethnography.
Our research in this area typically has the common goal of transformative impact – looking at ways of transforming behaviour, or professional practice or policy. Our research helps policy makers and managers make better decisions by addressing issues relating to the promotion of pro-social behaviours, commercial efficacy, market innovation and data-driven decision-making.
N/LAB is a centre of excellence at the University of Nottingham in international analytics. Researchers investigate the use of big data and machine learning and how it can be deployed to augment social policy and business decision making.
The N/LAB team collaborates with international governments, organisations and companies across the world. This includes some of the world’s fastest growing emerging economies and helping them target scarce infrastructure development resources to help tackle social and economic problems.
A data-driven approach is reflected in the lab's research. For example, by combining machine-learning with big data, research at the N/LAB has had a positive impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals in East Africa.
Gathering accurate information about the population in this region has proved extremely challenging but is essential for the effective planning of public services, transportation and infrastructure. Researchers at the NLAB developed a range of new statistical techniques to provide essential insights on issues such as socio-demographics, mobility, transport and health which could then be used by decision makers. As a result, resources have been deployed to where they are needed most and have contributed to finding long term solutions for long-standing issues.
Closer to home, the N/LAB has also carried out research in partnership with OLIO (the world’s largest food sharing network) to measure food insecurity in Greater London. N/LAB carried out an analysis of OLIO’s social network to examine food sharing behaviour and to investigate levels of food insecurity amongst its users.
Using machine learning, the team were able to extrapolate the level of food insecurity across the UK. The research provided information that is not easy to gather from traditional measures and has influenced policy making by local councils.