The promises of big data

“Let’s face it, big data is not going to solve our big social problems, such as global warming, violence, genocide, war, social divisions, sexism, racism, disability, homophobia, water and food security, homelessness, global poverty, health and educational inequality, infant mortality, care for the elderly, and so on. It may help to describe them, to picture them in new ways, to visualise the available data differently, and this may help to communicate the problems to more people. This is certainly an important part to causing change. However, there are significant difficulties in using it to be able to tell us anything especially interesting.” Emma Uprichard, University of Warwick at Discover Society