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How to... use digital tools for research

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E-social science offers the potential to hold and structure data in a more systematic way, combining and integrating data sets so that it is possible to cut through information overload and find the precise details you want.

For the social sciences, it also offers the possibility of modelling scenarios, measuring and observing change over time, and linking facts to a particular place.

This is big research involving big data sets and the necessity for cross-institutional e-infrastructure, but the reward is new forms of knowledge which will yield greater understanding about ourselves, and the possibility for more targeted, relevant and cost-effective policymaking.