Big data and its potential to impact on society and social policy has been a topic of debate in the social sciences for several years now. But as we advance further into a data driven society, examples of big data being used to maximise profit and cause harm have made headlines around the world. Those in favour of ushering in the 'big data revolution' believe effective applications can enhance society and improve social policy, but is the skills gap in the social sciences and challenges with data access limiting the potential for big data to be put to 'good' use?

This panel will summarise the challenges, highlight examples of progress being made and address what more we, as an academic community, could be doing to better understand and utilise big data for optimum impact.