The CentERdata Foundation was established on 20 December 1996, following the take-over of the Telepanel (until that time managed by the University of Amsterdam). The name changed from Telepanel to CentERpanel after the take-over. The panel is primarily intended for innovative survey research.

In 2000 the CentERpanel switched to online survey research. Furthermore, the available ICT expertise was no longer used only for internal software development, but increasingly also to develop survey tools for external customers. In 2005 CentERdata expanded its expertise in the field of applied socio-economic policy research by bundling forces with the econometrics department of CentER Applied Research, an institute for contract research of Tilburg University. This department originally concentrated on the following research fields: job market, education and pensions. Policy research into consumer issues was added later.

In 2006 CentERdata received a large grant for the project An advanced multi-disciplinary facility for Measurement and Experimentation in the Social Sciences (MESS). The core element of this project is the LISS panel, which is an online panel consisting of 5000 households. Partly through MESS, CentERdata has evolved into a prominent provider of infrastructure for research and data collection.

Today CentERdata is an eminent party in survey, policy and consumer research and an expert in the field of customized software development for complex domestic and international projects in which innovation plays a key role.