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Statistics seminar 2018 - Data Quality in Social Research: A Methodological Agenda for the Era of Big Data

Data Quality in Social Research: A Methodological Agenda for the Era of Big Data

18/01/2018 dalle 11:00 alle 13:00

Dove Dipartimento di Scienze Statistiche - Via Belle Arti 41 - Aula Seminari

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Teresio Poggio
Università di Trento

The rapid developments in information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer many opportunities to social researchers. Online surveys – the mobile ones, especially – have made data collection a ubiquitous, faster and cheaper process. They also allow respondents to provide additional information on their environment: picture, sounds, geographical position, for instance. Beside online surveys, many data on social phenomena have been digitalized and, in many cases, are now natively generated in digital format. Digital behavior itself has become increasingly important in human life, if one considers the significance of online communications, social media, Internet transactions, and of access to online information and resources. Digital behavior organically produces an enormous and up-to-date quantity of statistical information. Computer scientists and statisticians have created the conditions and the tools for the analysis of these ‘Big Data’.
On the other hand, these opportunities in survey practices and in the ‘Big Data’ domain also pose important ethical and methodological challenges to social researchers. Main methodological issues for online surveys are discussed in the seminar within the total survey error framework. A ‘methodological agenda’ for Big Data is also proposed, mostly relying on the recent report prepared by a dedicate task force within the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

Roberto Impicciatore