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#TalkBigData – Changing lives through big data research

The third Talk Big Data panel discussion was a resounding success. The panel was chaired by Katie McNeill, Functional Director at the UK Data Archive, who moderated the discussions between Sharon Witherspoon, the acting Head of Policy for the Academy of Social Sciences, Patrick Guthrie, Head of Public Service Reform at Essex County council, Stephen Simpkin, Senior Organisational Intelligence Officer at Essex County Council and Professor Mounia Lalmas, Director of Research at Yahoo! London.

Talk Big Data panel

Patrick Guthrie, Essex County Council, Sharon Witherspoon, Academy of Social Sciences,
Katie McNeill, UK Data Archive, Prof. Mounia Lalmas, Yahoo! London and Stephen Simpkin, Essex County Council

The panel had a lively discussion on how big data research, such as administrative data research, can have a real impact on policies, the improvement of public services and customer services. Though the views from business were slightly different than the academic and public sector views, they all agreed that big data research can make a real difference.

But there are a number of challenges, which are different for businesses and government.


They moved on to the ethical challenges of using sources such as administrative data and big data, and who would need to make sure that ethical issues are properly considered and respected.


The panel concluded with questions from the public, who were very interested and enthusiastic about the possibilities of big data in research.

The next #TalkBigData will take place on 17 November 2016 at the Essex Business School. Reserve your place now!


Written by ADS staff and published on the ADRN blog under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Image used with permission.

Published on 11 November 2016

Page last updated: 30/07/2018