The course gives an overview of the possibilities and limitations (technical, ethical, methodological, socio-cultural) of using big data in analysing societal processes. The course also introduces the main methodological approaches for using big data in data-based decision making. The course deals also with a) new arisen possibilities created by big data and opportunities for data-based decision-making for addressing societal changes, b) socio-cultural meanings related to big data, positive consequences and dangers when using big data in decision-making (e.g. data justice), c) changes in social relations related to big data and social datafication and new forms of public-private cooperation (e.g. use of open data, citizen science and data activism), d) main challenges in the data-based decision-making in the public and private sector (including socio-cultural, ethical, technical issues). These topics will be covered based on theoretical literature, comparative analysis of different countries, and through practical examples and exercises. The course does not presume prior knowledge of data analytics.
After successfully passing the subject the student:
- Is able to constructively debate over the role of big data in society and data-based decision making;
- Understands peculiarities of datafied society and knows various theoretical strands and methodological approaches regarding the use of big data for finding the solutions to the necessary societal issues;
- Knows the main challenges, limitations, dangers and best practices regarding the use of big data for steering societal processes;
- Demonstrates the skills of critical thinking, conceptual analysis and argumentation both in written form and orally.
Akadeemia tee 3, Tallinn
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