Big Data Analysis for Social Scientists : Online- 2 Day

This online master-class introduces you to the collection and analysis of socially-generated 'big data' using the R statistical software, with a focus on social media network and text data.

 

 

The course will be run over two days over the following schedule (both days):

 

9.00am -10.30am: Instructional Zoom session (instructor provides demonstration and teaching)
10.30am-11.00am: Break
11.00am-12.30pm: Participants working on set exercises/activities (a Zoom session will allow the instructor to provide 1:1 assistance and also additional instruction to the group)
12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch
1.30pm-3.00pm: Instructional Zoom session
3.00pm-3.30pm: Break
3.30pm-5.00pm:  Participants working on set exercises/activities

 
Master Class - runs over 2 days
Instructor: 
About this course: 

This master-class introduces participants to approaches for collecting and analysing network and text data from social media, with a focus on Twitter, YouTube and Reddit.

 

The main software used in the course is R, but we also introduce Gephi for advanced visualisation. Data collection is via the VOSON Dashboard and vosonSML R packages for collecting social media network and data. We also cover other important R packages for network and text analysis such as: igraph (network analysis and visualisation), quanteda (quantitative analysis of textual data), tidytext and tm (text mining), wordcloud (text word clouds).

 

The course will be particularly useful to academics and PhD students who want to become more computationally literate, and those from technical disciplines (e.g. computer science, engineering, information science) who want to become more familiar with social science approaches to big data research. The course will also be useful for people from industry and government whose work involves quantitative analysis of social media data, e.g. for marketing, social research, public relations, brand management, journalism, opinion analysis.

Course syllabus: 

 

Day 1

    • Introduction to vosonSML, VOSON Dashboard
    • RStudio and R refresher, including installing R packages
    • SNA using VOSON Dashboard & igraph – 1 (network plots, basic node-/network-level metrics)
    • Collecting Twitter data using VOSON Dashboard & vosonSML
    • Text analysis using VOSON Dashboard & R – 1 (text preparation, frequency counts & wordclouds)

 

Day 2

  • Collecting YouTube/Reddit data with VOSON Dashboard & vosonSML
  • SNA using VOSON Dashboard & igraph – 2 (clusters, creating subnetworks)
  • Text analysis in R – 2 (sentiment analysis, semantic networks)
  • Advanced/extra material (e.g. topic models, introduction to dynamic network analysis, introduction to Gephi)

 

Course format: 

This masterclass will be run online, via Zoom. To ensure that participants are well prepared for the masterclass, there will be detailed instructions to ensure that they have the required R, RStudio and other R packages pre-installed before the masterclass. There will also be preliminary exercises (introduction to R and RStudio) that the participants will be expected to complete before the masterclass. The instructor will be available for consultation (via email or Zoom) prior to the masterclass, to provide assistance with installation of software and the preliminary exercises.

 

The format of the masterclass (both days) will be:

9.00am -10.30am: Instructional Zoom session (instructor provides demonstration and teaching)
10.30am-11.00am: Break
11.00am-12.30pm: Participants working on set exercises/activities (a Zoom session will allow the instructor to provide 1:1 assistance and also additional instruction to the group)
12.30pm-1.30pm: Lunch
1.30pm-3.00pm: Instructional Zoom session
3.00pm-3.30pm: Break
3.30pm-5.00pm:  Participants working on set exercises/activities

 

Recommended Background: 

It is advisable that you have taken at least one of the following ACSPRI courses, or have had some equivalent exposure to social network analysis:

 

It is also advisable that you have some experience with the R programming language (or similar languages) for example, via the following ACSPRI courses:

Recommended Texts: 

There are no recommended texts, but you can find information on relevant software, (including how to download and install, and help information) here:

 

 

FAQ: 

Q: Should I have taken an ACSPRI R Course before attempting this course?

A: Not necessarily. However it is advisable that you either have some experience with social network analysis or experience with R (or a similar programming language).

 

Q: Do I need to have the VOSON Dashboard and vosonSML R packages already installed on my computer?

A: We will cover the installation of required packages at the start of the course. However, since there can be problems with installing new R packages (e.g. relating to the host operating system, version of R etc.) it is advisable that you install and test that these packages can load into session before the commencement of the course.

 

Participant feedback: 

There was an excellent balance between the lectures and hands-on work. (July 2020)

 

The course exceeded my expectations. I learnt a heap, and it will be hugely beneficial to my line of work. It was a great introduction to R. Rob was very patient and knowledgeable. (July 2020)

Notes: 

The instructor's bound, book length course notes will serve as the course texts.