The AHRC embraces the potential opportunities for transformative research in the arts and humanities offered by developments in Big Data. It also recognises the distinctive and creative contributions that the arts and humanities can make to the development of approaches to the use of big data, for example in terms of developing new types of visualisation and representation and exploring issues around privacy and trust as well as intellectual property and copyright.
The AHRC has an important leadership role in supporting the development of the new or enhanced skills and competencies that will be needed in, for example, the potential of innovative technologies and data analysis in order to fully exploit the potential of ‘big data’ across the full range of arts and humanities disciplines. These will need to be developed alongside traditional disciplinary expertise.
Big data potentially connects to a number of AHRC’s wider priority areas as outlined in its strategy for 2013-2018, including the creative and cultural economy. We are keen to explore the potential to deepen and expand the way in which the people, skills and research we support in relation to big data can contribute to creativity and innovation as well as to community and public life and how they can bring cultural, intellectual and economic benefits to the UK and the wider world. Effective use of big data has the potential to drive a step-change in the way the creative and cultural economy engages with data which could deliver significant direct benefits for the sector as well as supporting advances in arts and humanities research.