Is the Sky Falling? New Technology, Changing Media, and the Future of Surveys
In this paper I review three key technology-related trends: 1) big data, 2) non-probability samples, and 3) mobile data collection. I focus on the implications of these trends for survey research and the research profession. With regard to big data, I review a number of concerns that need to be addressed, and argue for a balanced and careful evaluation of the role that big data can play in the future. I argue that these developments are unlikely to replace transitional survey data collection, but will supplement surveys and expand the range of research methods. I also argue for the need for the survey research profession to adapt to changing circumstances.
big data; organic data; social media; mobile surveys; non-probability surveys