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Mahrt, M., & Scharkow, M. (2013). The Value of Big Data in Digital Media Research. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 57(1), 20–33. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2012.761700


This article discusses methodological aspects of Big Data analyses with regard to their applicability and usefulness in digital media research. Based on a review of a diverse selection of literature on online methodology, consequences of using Big Data at different stages of the research process are examined. We argue that researchers need to consider whether the analysis of huge quantities of data is theoretically justified, given that it may be limited in validity and scope, and that small-scale analyses of communication content or user behavior can provide equally meaningful inferences when using proper sampling, measurement, and analytical procedures.