Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities for Political Science

A couple of weeks ago I attended a conference on ‘Big Data’ at the Oxford Internet Institute. Several really interesting presentations including from a group of computer scientists at Bristol University and Duncan Watts of Microsoft Research. I learnt a lot about recent advances in text-mining especially. I presented some research on political speech at the UK’s House of Commons, and was awarded the prize for best paper which was flattering considering the quality of other work on show.

I left more convinced than ever that ‘big data’ is going to bring about major changes in the discipline of political science, though there’s plenty of work left to do in establishing the validity of automatic coding and analysis.

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