Using “Big Data” for Equity-Focused Evaluation—Understanding and Utilizing the Dynamics of Data Ecosystems
The facts are overwhelming; sources such as online or mobile financial transactions, social media traffic, and global positioning system coordinates generate over 2.5 quintillion bytes of so-called "Big Data" every day. It presents the definition of Big Data that is developed in the "Opening Pandora's Box to Unpack Big Data" section. The evidence indicates that there is no strong demand for Big Data either as a main source of information or as supplementary information in the examples of equity-focused evaluations. In the long run, one of the really important shortcomings of Big Data is the lack of transparency around how it is generated. The policy field is quite special, not least because it spans over international borders and there is often another government involved in project implementation. The chapter concludes with a discussion of what the real opportunities are for Big Data in evaluation, and what can be done to facilitate the use of Big Data.