Sunday, April 17, 2016

Too much data vs no data at all

Two recent articles in the FT and the NYT illustrate how many political debates are taking place without serious empirical evidence.   As the NYT article says, we are at a moment when "money-fueled culture where tweets, not position papers, shape the national conversation."  Yet, in contrast, we are also at a time when there is a big accent on big data and the need to have "evidence-based" policymaking (which usually means statistical data).  At times, I am afraid that qualitative researchers are in the middle of both worlds and will have diminished influence over time: they are compared with the type of research that bad think tanks do or they are considered second rate when compared to quantitative research.  A rather worrying trend!

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