How can big data really be put to good use in the social sciences?

Big data and its impact on society and social policy has remained at the forefront of discussions within the social sciences for several years. The increasing availability of data and the advances in tools and methods for analyzing massive data-sets has created both opportunities and challenges for those working within the social sciences and further afield.  As a result of this, we, as an industry, are now within a major shift in both how social science research is conducted and supported.

Against this backdrop, SAGE once again hosted a panel debate as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, creating an open platform to debate and explore these issues. “Putting big data to “good” use” looked at specific examples of how big data has been used both to positive and negative effect and explored the challenges that are preventing the full, ethical and beneficial use of big data within the social sciences.

Katie Metzler, Head of Methods Innovation at SAGE chaired the event with panelists: Dr Maria Fasli, Director of the Institute for Analytics and Data Science at the University of Essex, Dr Slava Mikhaylov, Professor of Public Policy and Data Science at the University of Essex, Dr Jonathan Gray, Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at Kings College London and Ian Mulvany, Head of Product Innovation at SAGE.

Watch the full panel discussion below:

SAGE is dedicated to working closely with the academic community to best navigate, enhance and take advantage of the opportunities of big data and new technologies, ensuring that researchers have the skills, knowledge and resources to effectively engage. As a result of this mission, SAGE has launched SAGE Campus, a series of online data science courses designed to equip social scientists with the key data science and programming skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities big data presents. Find out more here.

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