Applications of Big Data for Social Science: Prospects of Loyalty Card Data
My research has the aim of utilising 'Big Data' such a loyalty card/transactional data, to understand the applications and limitations of applying these new forms of data within social science research. These data offer the potential to inform social and geographical processes by studying spatio- temporal consumer behaviours on a large scale, whilst also providing consumer insights for businesses and promoting retail resilience within the UK. This research is being conducted in collaboration with the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), UCL, allowing access to a large commercial dataset from a major UK high street retailer. Preliminary stages have involved understanding issues of representation and data uncertainty that are encountered when applying these kinds of data in a research context. Future work will continue to understand the prospects of using loyalty card data both for social science and retail insights, by examining spatio-temporal elements in a multitude of contexts and developing novel analysis tools.