Big data, small data…

I work with small data primarily. This means that my research is largely interpretive, qualitative. However, I recently conducted a national survey of faith-based schools (for a book that is due to be released in Fall 2017) and used that in conjunction with semi-structured interviews. While the tension between qualitative and quantitative researchers remains – with each looking at the other with skepticism – I think we need to find a common language and mutual respect for each other’s methods.

As much as I believe in the value of big data to help us understand the big trends and nationally representative samples, there are reasons to be skeptical as well. Here is a short video on the dangers of ‘big data’.

Ms.Roy is talking about the national ID or Aadhar card that the government in India is trying to implement. The claim being made by the government is being questioned here. What she is pointing to is a pervasive problem. Especially with communities that don’t have access to data sciences or are unable to access them – due to high entry barrier, or costs.

What do you think?