GKB: Geodemographics Knowledge Base

For over 25 years the CGG has been a leading independent voice in the geodemographics sector. Part of MRS, it exists to promote the full use of Census and geodemographic information. It works with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and others to represent the needs of research.

Emma White, CFS, BSc, PhD, CMRS, is the Data Protection Officer and Head of Information Assurance at City, University of London. She has previously worked for the University of Southampton, NatCen Social Research and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
As part of Emma’s role with ONS, she provided regular census updates to CGG over a number of years, and was delighted to be invited to re-join the group in 2016 to be on the receiving end of said updates. She finds the collegiate working and responsiveness of the group very rewarding, especially when collaborating on responses to consultations and inquiries. She also enjoys the vast amount of knowledge and experience that the group brings to the table. She is delighted to chair the group, which makes a significant contribution in representing members’ views to government, and in sharing their expertise in census and geodemographics activities.
Penny Babb represents the Office for Statistics Regulation, the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority. She is the head of Policy and Standards. OSR has attended the CGG since 2015 and finds it valuable opportunity to hear about expert analysts’ experiences, as well as being able to update up on the work of the Authority.

I am Director of Statistics (Media) for Kantar. My predominant area of responsibility is television audience measurement, across dozens of countries worldwide. I am also involved with the Target Group Index. I joined the CGG in January 2017 to participate in discussions about the 2021 Census and GDPR. As a former Government statistician who was at one time responsible for producing national population estimates, a member of the National Statistics Advisory Group and a former Chairman of the Official Statistics Section of the Royal Statistical Society, I can discuss official statistics from the viewpoint of producers as well as users.

I was a founding member of the CGG and worked extensively with a variety of systems when I was the Market Research Director at Whitbread. I am a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London and currently teach a module on the Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science. I am also a member of the Editorial Board of the IJMR and a judge on the MRS Awards panel.

Keith has enjoyed being a member of the CGG for many years. His initial interest was in improving access to Census statistics, and the geodemographic classifications that have been built from them, which have proven to be so valuable to commercial companies, public services, and academia. This was followed by the CGG supporting the policy that census statistics should be freely available, and the group has been very successful in pressing for many other government datasets becoming Open Data. Another positive aspect of the CGG is its encouragement of dialogue between commercial companies, government, and academia. In Keith’s case this is illustrated by his involvement in the Data Analysts’ User Group (DUG), his serving on ONS committees, and being an Honorary Professor at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Peter is a semi-retired mathematician who, for many years, has been closely involved with the development and application of new analytical techniques in marketing and customer management. His work in geodemographics spans several decades and he is passionate about the exciting new data and analytical opportunities opening up in the mobile world. Peter has been a member of the CGG since 1993 and was instrumental in setting up the Geodemographics Knowledge Base in 2000.

Dr Barry Leventhal is a consultant statistician with experience gained in market research, geodemographics and analytics.

Dr Leventhal founded the Census & Geodemographics Group in 1989 and was its chair for over 25 years. In 2017 he was awarded the MRS Gold Medal for signal service to the profession.

He has published books on geodemographics and predictive analytics, and has written numerous articles and papers on these topics.

Tom Smith is Managing Director at the Data Science Campus, joining the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2017. He was co-founder and, prior to joining ONS, chief executive of Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI), a research and data ‘spin-out’ company from the University of Oxford.
Tom has more than 20 years’ experience using data and analysis to improve public services. Working at the intersection of government, academia and industry, he has led data & research projects with hundreds of local and national public and community sector organisations, including the government’s English Indices of Deprivation. His primary research interests are in using data science to improve public services, machine learning, and assessing non-traditional data sources to improve our understanding of society and the economy.
A life-long data addict, Tom has a PhD in computational neuroscience, evolving neural networks for robot control (Sussex, 2002), an MSc in knowledge-based systems (Sussex, 1997), and MA in theoretical physics (Cambridge, 1994). He is vice-chair of the Royal Statistical Society Official Statistics section, and previously chair of the Environment Agency Data Advisory Group, and a member of the Open Data User Group ministerial advisory group to Cabinet Office. He has also acted as an external advisor on opening-up, sharing and using data for multiple government departments.
I have a background in Geographical Information Systems and specifically in building geodemographic classification systems. I have been a member of the group since 2012 and joined as I wanted to have voice and say in the outputs produced for the 2011 Census. Census data is of key interest to me as worked with these data and built products from these data for nearly 20 years now.
Working together is a key theme of this group. People from a whole range of backgrounds and companies work together for the common good (even commercial companies who are normally competitors with each other). We get access to listen to, provide input and speak on a whole range of topics and issues including Censuses, big data, data access and open data from a commercial company point of view. This group provides a voice that is listened to by organisations like the Census Offices which an individual or one company would not have so it has a chance to make a difference.

Representing what was then OPCS, I joined CCG from the outset of the Group way back in the late 1980s to help give the Group some insights into the planning of the 1991 Census. Participation in the Group was part of OPCS's census user consultation programme. Since then I have been the main liaison with OPCS/ONS on census matters, and particularly so since 2004. Since my own retirement from ONS in 2014 I have been acting as an independent international census consultant and have been helping to provide some insight into the planning of the 2021 Census in the context of the UN's world programme of censuses and the experience of other countries' census practices.


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