All those clicks, likes, and retweets you do on social media add up to a huge amount of data that can be worth millions to some companies.
But according to new research, actually using that data is easier said than done.
That's because data analysts are typically asked to study data for purposes different than what the data was originally intended for-- in effect, “trying to extract information that wasn’t intentionally put in there.”
Using data from social media platforms means doing things like negotiating with different user demographics and constructing populations based on imperfect or incomplete information. Because there's much that's unknown and unknowable, analysts of social media data should approach the data with caution, Ruths advises.