The term ‘Big Data’ is used in a number of ways. It is typically distinguished from other data by volume, the speed with which it can be amassed (velocity) and the variety of data aggregated. In research involving children, ‘Big Data’ often refers to aggregated sets of different types of data derived from multiple sources including people, machines or sensors. These might include social media, GPS data, education or health records, radio frequencies and consumer data. These aggregated datasets typically require advanced data analytics methods to extract value from the combined data.

‘Big Data’ offers the promise of insights into some of the world’s most challenging social, health and geographical issues. However, Big Data also create unique ethical concerns at both individual and group levels.

Related Terms:
Quantitative research

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