Big Data and Social Science: A Practical Guide to Methods and Tools

Ian Foster, Rayid Ghani, Ron Jarmin, Frauke Kreuter, Julia Lane

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Big Data and Social Science: Data Science Methods and Tools for Research and Practice, Second Edition shows how to apply data science to real-world problems, covering all stages of a data-intensive social science or policy project. Prominent leaders in the social sciences, statistics, and computer science as well as the field of data science provide a unique perspective on how to apply modern social science research principles and current analytical and computational tools. The text teaches you how to identify and collect appropriate data, apply data science methods and tools to the data, and recognize and respond to data errors, biases, and limitations. Features: Takes an accessible, hands-on approach to handling new types of data in the social sciences Presents the key data science tools in a non-intimidating way to both social and data scientists while keeping the focus on research questions and purposes Illustrates social science and data science principles through real-world problems Links computer science concepts to practical social science research Promotes good scientific practice Provides freely available workbooks with data, code, and practical programming exercises, through Binder and GitHub New to the Second Edition: Increased use of examples from different areas of social sciences New chapter on dealing with Bias and Fairness in Machine Learning models Expanded chapters focusing on Machine Learning and Text Analysis Revamped hands-on Jupyter notebooks to reinforce concepts covered in each chapter This classroom-tested book fills a major gap in graduate- and professional-level data science and social science education. It can be used to train a new generation of social data scientists to tackle real-world problems and improve the skills and competencies of applied social scientists and public policy practitioners. It empowers you to use the massive and rapidly growing amounts of available data to interpret economic and social activities in a scientific and rigorous manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages356
ISBN (Electronic)9781498751414
ISBN (Print)9781498751407
StatePublished - Sep 15 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Mathematics


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