We explore the connections from phenomena to new data and from data to theories. While starting with philosophical perspectives from positive economic theory to positive accounting theory, we emphasize the relevance and importance of new data sources to archival research in accounting and the implications to research in accounting information systems and emerging technologies. We present a number of studies in accounting that exemplify the critical role of data in the discovery of theories from phenomena. We argue that data in conventional empirical studies limit methodology to require assumptions and complex econometric treatments for general business settings. Therefore, recent developments in “Big Data” and data analytics, particularly the improved data availability from a variety of new sources, have made strong research designs possible. We provide evidence that 88 percent of the JIS and 100 percent of the JETA empirical archival publications in the recent two years used new data sources.

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