The Data Science Lab is based in the Behavioural Science Group at Warwick Business School. Headed by Suzy Moat and Tobias Preis, its work is a response to the increasing availability of large quantities of human behavioural data. Drawing on approaches from the social sciences, the natural sciences and engineering, the projects undertaken by the Data Science Lab are broadly concerned with the insights that Big Data offers into human behaviour and decision making.
In previous work, we have provided evidence that patterns in searches for financial information on Google and Wikipedia may have offered clues to subsequent stock market moves, and that Internet users from countries with a higher per capita GDP are more likely to search for information about years in the future than years in the past. In more recent work we have demonstrated how environmental measurements of the impact of Hurricane Sandy were exactly mirrored by the number of hurricane related photos taken and uploaded to Flickr.
Our current major project is funded under RCUK’s New Economic Models in the Digital Economy – Big Data, Innovations and New Business Models scheme. It aims to explore the opportunities that massive online information streams may offer into early stages of collective decision-making. This project takes the form of an open Big Data platform, currently under development, which mines, merges and models publicly available Internet data on human activity to explore relationships between these online information flows and real world processes.