As Surveys Falter Big Data Polling Narrows Our Societal Understanding

One of the most talked-about stories in the world of polling and survey research in recent years has been the gradual death of survey response rates and the reliability of those insights. Whether the switch from landline to mobile phones, increasing self-censorship or the greater availability of triangulation data, the surveying world is in a state of crisis.

Yet, as more and more of our societal insights bypass traditional surveying and rely upon “big data,” the questions we are able to ask are rapidly narrowing to those answerable through society’s unintended data exhaust. What does this portend for the future of how we understand ourselves? The great societal shift from landlines to mobile phones marked one of the first technological salvos in the great war against survey research.

Author: Kalev Leetaru

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s