Students Staff

26 September 2014

Using data to understand customer behaviour

online shopping

Helping businesses gain a better understanding of their customers is the idea behind a special project involving statisticians and computer scientists from Essex.

Many companies generate a wealth of data on a day-to-day basis but do not have the skills to know how to use this untapped resource to develop stronger, more intimate relationships with their customers. This is where data scientists come in, who have the skills to analyse big data and offer insight into improving business performance.

Via an innovative three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), experts at Essex are working with data science consultancy Profusion to use statistical methods and data analytics to develop an enhanced understanding of customer behaviour which then drives better customer experiences.

Profusion relies on data science to understand how people and organisations interact, internally and externally. This project will focus on both online and offline interactions with large retail and financial consumer brands to create better customer experiences.

KTPs support UK businesses wanting to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge and expertise available within UK universities and colleges.

Leading the project for Profusion is their data science team leader and Essex graduate in Statistics and Computer Science Henrik Nordmark, who will also be contributing to developing and evolving the new MSc Data Science course at Essex.

Professor Berthold Lausen, from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, who will be leading the project at Essex, said: “This is a great opportunity to work closely with industry to support our understanding of the real-world challenges businesses are facing. We’ll use the insights gained to inform how we teach data science, to ensure we can produce data science graduates with the skills industry needs right now.

“The aim of this KTP will be to use statistical methods and data analytics to help businesses adapt to the needs of their customers.”


Note to editors

For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or email:

About KTP

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are a government-funded technology transfer initiative that supports partnerships between business and universities, placing graduates on challenging, high profile projects. Further information of KTPs with the University of Essex please email:

About Profusion

Profusion is a data science consultancy, focused on understanding the interactions between organisations and people. With one of the largest teams of data scientists in the UK, we use sophisticated techniques to unlock customer-focused insight. Our people then turn those insights into high impact strategies that bring our clients closer to their customers.

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