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Big Data and Knowledge in the Social Sciences

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By Rosa Borge, Associate Professor and Researcher, UOC-IN3.

The Big Data analytics would shape a smarter society if this new paradigm contributes to knowledge in the Social Sciences. On one hand, the analysis of Big Data is helping to guide decisions in socially relevant areas such as the public health system, the aid in zones affected by natural disasters or the improvement of the educational offer. And one of its related fields, social networks analysis, is contributing also to better understand the causes and consequences of the connections among people, actors, organizations or systems.

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About the Question
Are Big Data & Analytics shaping a smarter society?

Every day we generate a huge amount of big data, but we need to resort to analytics to make abstract information meaningful and get valuable knowledge from it. In education, learning platforms let us easily gather an immense quantity of data regarding students’ behaviour, interactions, preferences and opinions. When properly analysed — through learning analytics — all these data might provide useful insight on how to make learning processes more adaptive, attractive and efficient.

Are these techniques allowing us to provide better support to our students? Are we taking advantage of big data and analytics to help shape the citizens of the future?

Big Data and Simheuristics
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