Dr Anya Skatova


Anya Skatova is Vice-Chancellor's Fellow in Digital Innovation and Wellbeing at the School of Psychological Science, University of Bristol. She gained her PhD in Psychology at the University of Nottingham, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick. She has extensive network of industry contacts and always open for new collaborations. 

Currently Anya focuses on using large transactional (e.g., banking and retail) datasets to study individual difference in decision-making, wellbeing and personality. She is also working on linking banking and retail loyalty card datasets with data collected through longitudinal population studies (LPS) through joining behavioural patterns that can be learned from transactional data with rich medical, genetic, early life environment and other records collected by LPS. Finally, she works on a range of projects related to public attitudes to data sharing including whether individuals can assign value to their personal data and what are perceived risks and benefits of sharing personal data with various organisations.

Research interests

The proliferation of digital technology has ushered in a new era of understanding individual choices and decision-making. An ever-increasing amount of machine recorded information is routinely generated as we traverse our daily lives, touching on a range of human behaviours from financial activity (via banking records), to eating habits (via supermarket loyalty cards and digital food diaries). The patterns of these real-world choices could aid understanding of the causes and consequences of public health issues such as obesity, diabetes and mental health issues. 

Currently, this data is collected and used mainly by private companies to fit their own benefit (e.g., to track sales of their products, target promotions), with the general public having little say in the way these data are shared and linked with other datasets. Through unlocking these data sets for academic use, we can benefit population health research. Anya's work at the Turing focuses on two research questions: (1) what are the mostly widely held attitudes towards using transactional data for public health research? (2) what are the publicly acceptable and ethical pathways of using transactional data for public health research?