There is growing enthusiasm among social scientists about using “big data” to conduct research and develop bodies of knowledge. Many think this work has the potential to inform policies and programs to expand opportunities and reduce inequalities among young people. But what steps can we take to ensure that access to big data leads to the production of high-quality, useful research evidence? And what else do we need to know to ensure that this evidence is ultimately used by decision makers in ways that benefit youth? These questions are central to our foundation’s interest in improving the use of research evidence.

Download the PDF below or read this essay online in the first issue of the William T. Grant Foundation Digest.