Information analyst looking at data on a monitor

Decision and data analytics research

Explore our work in decision and data analytics, one of our areas of expertise in Operational Research and Logistics

Through our decision and data analytics research, we grapple with questions such as how to improve the design of maintenance operations at offshore wind farms, how to ensure the safe flow of passengers through a railway station, and where to place robotic devices for cancer treatment. We help decision makers, in sectors including transport, logistics and healthcare, to analyse increasing amounts of complex data to answer challenging questions like these.

We help visualise and conceptualise data, predict how trends may develop or change, and recommend decisions based on the results of our analysis. We also use our analytics expertise to design decision support systems.

We are part of the network of Catapult Centres of Excellence across the UK: world-leading centres designed to drive innovation and economic growth in transport, satellite applications and offshore renewable energy. The Centres are funded the UK government under the Innovate UK organisation as a response to an increasing need to use satellite data and technologies to help businesses create new ideas and propel growth.

Our research is cross-disciplinary and has received funding from national and international bodies including Innovate UK, the Rail Safety Standards Board, Research Councils UK, the European Commission and Interreg Europe. Our work is also regularly published in leading academic journals in the field, including the European Journal of Operational Research, the Journal of the Operational Research Society, and Expert Systems with Applications. 

Our research covers the following topics

  • Predictive analytics, including forecasting and pattern recognition
  • Descriptive analytics
  • Prescriptive analytics
  • Statistical techniques
  • Decision support system design

Project highlights

The Cooperative Brachytherapy (CoBra) project
This project, funded by The European Union Interreg (2 Seas) programme, aimed to improve the quality of diagnosis and treatment of localised cancers, increase cure rates and minimise side effects. We aim to achieve this by developing a new medical robot prototype for brachytherapy and biopsy under guidance of MRI. We analysed a large number of prostate cancer cases to improve access to innovative treatment.

The Gatelines project
We analysed data from crowded railway stations to ensure safety and better passenger experience. This project was funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Arctic and North Atlantic Security and Emergency Preparedness Network (ARCSAR) project
We analysed safety and security data in the Arctic and North Atlantic caused by melting ice. This project was funded by the European Commission.


Discover our areas of expertise

Decision and data analytics is one of our areas of expertise in the Operational Research and Logistics research area. Explore the others below.

Exact and metaheuristic solution methods

Heuristic and metaheuristic techniques are powerful and flexible research methodologies that offer a faster way of solving complex logistical challenges.

Person looking at projection
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Healthcare analytics

From nurse scheduling to infection and disease modelling, our research provides decision-makers in the healthcare sector with optimal strategies for treatment.

Nurse pointing at scan on computer screen
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Multiple criteria decision aid

Approaching complex problems with conflicting criteria, or uncertain data, our research helps people make more informed decisions.

Meeting between large group in room with pink wall
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Transportation and Maritime Systems

Our research focuses on developing innovative optimisation models and decision support systems, to help improve the mobility of people, goods and services.

Portsmouth Harbour with historic dockyard ships and ferries
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Optimisation modelling

As well as improving business efficiency, we're enabling people to make optimal decisions that can lead to practices with enhanced economic, environmental or social benefits.
Female warehouse working checking tablet
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Renewable energy and sustainability analytics

Modelling to answer a host of questions, from how to produce renewable energy more cheaply, to how the associated logistics can be sustainable.
windfarm at sea on a sunny day
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Risk and security analytics

We help organisations learn from failures, so they can improve the quality and resilience of their operations, and we develop new analytic approaches to detect security threats.
Man cleaning up oil spill on a beach in Thailand
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Research groups

Centre for Operational Research and Logistics
We're using our expertise in analytics, system design, simulation, programming, and forecasting to help organisations around the world make better decisions.

Logistics Operational Research and Analytics Group
We're researching how we can apply quantitative methodologies to improve decision-making across a range of diverse fields of application.

Innovative Industrial Research Group
We're researching how to improve industrial performance through the integration of AI in products and services.

Interested in a PhD in Operational Research & Logistics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Operational Research & Logistics postgraduate research degrees page.