What are the pros and cons of dealing with a very large amount of qualitative data as a sole researcher?

Obviously, required time and resources come to mind, but what else?

  • What kind of research? Math, science, humanities, music...?
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 3:39
  • @Michael C. I'm personally concerned with social sciences but I couldn't find the question here so I think answering as generally as possibly could be worthwhile to more people
    – curious
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 3:45
  • I think the biggest pro could be that you get the data all to yourself, so you can explore to your heart's desire. The biggest con could be inherent bias, which can be detrimental to statistical analysis.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 3:47
  • What do you plan to do with the data? Are you using qualitative methods or statistics? Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 6:24
  • @henning Qualitative methods (which is why I didn't post in cross validated)
    – curious
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 13:34

2 Answers 2


There are no pros or cons just as there are no pros or cons to having $1,000,000 versus $1,000 to work with. You are less constrained. That is just a fact. The range of things you can do goes way up. If you don't like things being larger, you can voluntarily choose for them to be smaller by sampling. If you have a more specific question regarding methods, you should ask it on Cross Validated.


If the proper big data processing is done, you have more data to use. The con is that 'big data' is still a relatively new thing, and the resources may not be available for you to use easily.

  • What is 'the proper big data processing'? Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 6:25
  • I'm not a data scientist. I've been doing reading on data mining, and this seemed like a good use of big data analytics. Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 15:50

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