Asda has joined forces with the University of Leeds for a strategic data partnership, designed to better understand pressing societal challenges such as nutrition, environmental and health issues.
The two institutions have signed an agreement that will see the Leeds-based retailer and the University’s Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) work together on a range of research projects.
As part of the official partnership, data scientists at LIDA will work in collaboration with Asda to gain further understanding of customers’ habits and preferences, in order to inform decisions such as future store locations and improve the efficiency of food supply chains.
The agreement will cement a relationship that drives forward world-class research to provide wide-ranging social benefits and will help to inform food strategies on a city and national level, including ongoing efforts to make healthier and more sustainable food choices more accessible.
Asda senior director of data management and information strategy James Morgan said: “We are keen to explore the opportunities this partnership will offer both Asda and LIDA.
“Bringing together research data and retail expertise from both of our organisations will allow us to explore the real world challenges our customers currently face.
“By modelling environmental and social governance opportunities, we will have the ability to test new ideas and techniques ahead of establishing wider programmes to deliver even better outcomes for customers.”
Mark Birkin, professor of spatial analysis and policy at Leeds’ School of Geography, is co-director of both LIDA and the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), which are based at the University.
He said: “Addressing global challenges for some of society’s most pressing problems, such as healthy living and sustainable diets, requires collaborative innovation between academic institutions and real world partners.
“To this end, the University of Leeds and Asda have worked closely together for many years on a wide variety of projects.
“We are delighted by this opportunity to mobilise the world-leading expertise of both organisations in consumer behaviour, nutrition and lifestyle analytics to accelerate research with extreme social and economic importance.”
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