The primacy of data?

Nicholas Lee, Gordon Greenley

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


Purpose – The purpose of this editorial is to stimulate debate and discussion amongst marketing scholarship regarding the implications for scientific research of increasingly large amounts of data and sophisticated data analytic techniques.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors respond to a recent editorial in WIRED magazine which heralds the demise of the scientific method in the face of the vast data sets now available.
Findings – The authors propose that more data makes theory more important, not less. They differentiate between raw prediction and scientific knowledge – which is aimed at explanation.
Research limitations/implications – These thoughts are preliminary and intended to spark thinking and debate, not represent editorial policy. Due to space constraints, the coverage of many issues is necessarily brief.
Practical implications – Marketing researchers should find these thoughts at the very least stimulating, and may wish to investigate these issues further.
Originality/value – This piece should provide some interesting food for thought for marketing researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1144
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • data collection
  • market research
  • sciences


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