Shine a light on our economy


From international trade flows to everyday spending decisions, the economy involves complex networks of financial relationships that drive the economic well-being of individuals, the performance of businesses, and the policy options open to government.

Applying data science and AI techniques to understand the economy will enable us to measure activity faster and at a more granular level than had ever previously been imagined, and to monitor the real-world impact of business and policy decisions. It will also enable us to detect fraudulent activity in financial transactions and tax declarations, with major benefits for the UK economy and society.

What can data science and AI do?

  • Measure the geographical relationships in economic activity and trade and how shocks in one region or sector may be transmitted across the economy over time
  • Establish what factors drive productivity variation across the country and developing strategies to improve productivity across the UK
  • Analyse the jobs of the future and how this will impact well-being and policy decisions
  • Combat financial fraud and tax evasion through the implementation of advanced network detection algorithms
  • Develop methods to disentangle cause and effect, using new forms of data
  • Investigate how certain factors affect outcomes using new analytical approaches

What are the benefits for science, society, and the economy?

  • A better understanding of how the economy functions in terms of networks, linkages, and the propagation of shocks
  • A better understanding of how work is changing and what that means for individuals, businesses, and the government
  • Individual, business, and government decisions can be based on a much more complete and up-to-date picture of what is going on in the economy
  • Greater fairness and fewer wasted resources in combatting financial fraud