To Big Data or Not: Determining the Use of Big Data

09/26/2019

The purpose of this research project was to provide the Office of Science and Data Policy at ASPE with some informed observations concerning the use of new data sources and data management strategies in policy research, evaluation, and decision-making at the federal level. A secondary goal was to identify successful training models in data science for the federal workforce. To that end, we undertook two research activities aimed at gathering information about the use of new data sources, called both "big data" and "alternative data" in the literature. First, we performed a literature review that focused on recent work in the area with a concentration on the opportunities and challenges of "big data" sources for policy research. We then conducted a series of focused interviews with experts in the field of data science and data management, many of whom have a special concentration in health and health care research. Details about the interview process are included in the body of the report.

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