Community Data Co-op is the first community owned research business in the UK. The co-op is owned and run by the members who participate in the in the research. It is, in part, a response to growing public concern over the use of customer data by businesses, and offers a mechanism where members can control their data and see their communities benefit from it. The members create the rules, if they don’t like the way their data is handled, stored, analysed, used, they can change it. A perfect way for data protection to take place.
Business and public sector organsations commission the Community Data Co-op to carry out research. They gather opinions and ideas from their members. The co-op is able to charge a premium rate because it offers good quality data. Members supply it willingly as they know it has a value to the co-op and their communities, and they will want the business customers to come back.
Community Data Co-op describes it’s purpose as
“To become a safe, trusted place for ordinary people to express their feelings, thoughts and opinions to help other businesses, in return for cash of course!
All profits from member brainpower will be invested back into the communities members represent whether in the form of dividends, wellbeing project funding or simply growing the co-op business .
We aspire to become the collective memory for communities all over the UK and demonstrate some real substance behind the “data for good” movement.”
In December, the co-op was given its first data analysis/insight commission from Cumbria County Council – providing analysis of 2,000 responses to its Parent and School Transport Demand Surveys in relation to Feet First initiative.
The co-op was asked to join a the Invest in Cumbria Alliance, a group of private sector organisations, local government bodies and political leaders looking to build social value into investment. Working with the co-op, the Alliance is creating its Cumbria Investment Charter, setting out principles for engagement with inward investors to create social value. The co-op’s role is to develop a representative membership across the county.
Any profits will be returned to members as dividends, put into community wellbeing projects of their choice, or reinvested into the co-op for growth and development.
Co-operative Futures supported the Community Data Co-op to work out who the members should be how membership will work, what the best structure is and with the registration process.
“What I like about Co-op Futures is they are always honest in their approach and provided me with relevant expertise and timely advice to help set up the co-op.”
Quentin Boyes – founder member