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Big Data for Public Policy: The Quadruple Helix

December 06, 2016 by Julia Lane

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All politics is local; “Big Data” now mean that policy analysis can increasingly be local. Modern empirical policy should be grounded in data provided by a network of city/university data centers. Public policy schools should partner with scholars in the emerging field of data science to train the next generation of policy researchers in the thoughtful use of the new types of data; the apparent secular decline in the applications to public policy schools is coincident with the emergence of data science as a field of study in its own right. The role of national statistical agencies should be fundamentally rethought—and reformulated to one of four necessary strands in the data infrastructure; that of providing benchmarks, confidentiality protections, and national statistics.