Usage of big data for global tobacco control: exploring the trends in quantitative research from 2006 to 2015
Hector Mongi 1, 2  
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Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum, Tanzania, United Rep.
University of Dodoma, Department of Information Systems, Tanzania, United Rep.
Publish date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A17
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Measuring the impact of tobacco control initiatives like in other major themes of research relies on the data. Recently, there has been growing interest in the usability of big data which is characterized by large volumes, high computer processing speeds and huge storage networked databases. All these offer opportunity to make senses out of data through discovering new patterns and possibly creating new fields. This study tried to discover the usage trends of volumes of data in quantitative research to inform WHO FCTC impacts on tobacco control across the world between 2006 and 2015.

.The systematic literature review and meta-analysis were adopted for data collection and analysis. The articles on quantitative research on tobacco control were collected from journals, books, as well as from abstracts and full texts presented at the World Conferences on Tobacco or Health (WCToH) during the period of 10 years from 2006 to 2015. Data collected were analysed by continents as well as at overall global level. Data were summarized by year, by continent, and by the objective of the research. Association between the number of yearly quantitative research articles on WHO FCFC impacts and the amount of data they employed and objective were determined using Pearson´s Correlation Coefficients.

Results indicated that there has been a growth in the amount of data in quantitative exploratory studies but limited in conclusive research which has a better chance to inform the WHO FCTC impacts. While the usage of volumes of data has been increasing over recent years, the increase varies according to geographical locations and economic status of the regions.

The study concludes that despite incremental data in impact-based quantitative research that demonstrates slowly response of tobacco control research ecosystem to emerging big data opportunities; there are still gaps in their massive usage across regions and continents.