Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Through the growth of big data and open data, new opportunities have presented themselves for information systems (IS) researchers who want to investigate phenomena they cannot easily study using primary data. As a result, many scholars have “retooled” their skills to leverage the large amount of readily available secondary data for analysis. In this confessional account, we share the story about how the first and second authors faced challenges when using secondary data for a research project in the health information technology domain. Through additional analysis of studies on health information technology that have used secondary data, we identified several themes of potential pitfalls that can occur when collecting, appropriating, and analyzing secondary data for a research project. We share these themes and relevant exemplars to help IS researchers avoid mistakes when using secondary data.





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