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How Big Data Impacts Research and Knowledge Generation: An Epistemological View

Author:

Yiduo Wang

London School of Economics, GB
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Abstract

Big data is a prevalent topic in today’s news and articles, along with the opportunities it has created for academic research and business activities. However, it is difficult to analyse the real impact without an understanding of how big data has changed the way we generate knowledge. Therefore, this review adopts an epistemological view, critically engages with the literature and summarises with two dominating themes. First, big data enables a new way of proposing theories by recognizing patterns purely from data. Second, the expansiveness of big data empowers larger-scale predictions in many areas. This review juxtaposes assumptions both for and against each argument and concludes that while big data has indeed created new disciplines and research paradigms, it is not a panacea for all the problems. Rather, asking the right questions and employing the appropriate methods are still critical to scientific discovery and value creation. Regarding literature selection, the author started from several Information Systems and Media and Communication journal articles and looked at their references for relevant literature, particularly those with keywords “big data”, “epistemology”, “theory” and “prediction”, and ended up with a group of articles to give a comprehensive overview of the topic.
How to Cite: Wang, Y., 2020. How Big Data Impacts Research and Knowledge Generation: An Epistemological View. iSCHANNEL, 15(1), pp.29–32.
Published on 25 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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