Big data has been a big factor in determining representation in our modern world. The social phenomena of big data might change the way we “know” knowledge since with big data we can see the entire world in one picture. However, there are multiple flaws in this approach and Microsoft researcher Kate Crowford points it out in her Vialogues, Hidden Bias of Big Data.
First off, the biggest flaw is bias. Data inherently is biased, since the representation of data is determined by who decides to report it as well as who was able to report the data. (i.e. when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and all the tweets came from the urban centers such as New York).
Secondly, there is a flaw known as signal. Signal encompasses the possibility of people not being included in that data set. For example, in Boston, there is an application made for smartphones that passively collect data and speed and reports back every time there is a pothole. However, this data would become hugely flawed because the application would only include the wealthier, technologically-savvy people that own smartphones.