Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: April 7, 2022, 6 a.m. Humanist 35.642 - events: data crafting and decision making

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 642.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-04-07 04:46:41+00:00
        From: Alexander Halavais <>
        Subject: Talk: Katie Pine, "Feeding the Machine Out of Thin Air: Data Crafting in the 'Data-Driven' Organization

Feeding the Machine out of Thin Air: Data Crafting in the ‘Data-Driven’
Kathleen Pine
(w/ Melissa Mazmanian)
Arizona State University

In recent years, a huge amount of excitement has surrounded the rise of
innovations in data-driven decision making (DDDM). The promise of DDDM
innovations rests on ready availability of high quality data resources that
users can feed into systems to provide decision makers (people or
algorithms) high-quality information in service of enhanced decision-making
capacity. DDDM systems require pre-packaged data of acceptable quality—i.e.
data high in completeness, accuracy, consistency, and validity. In this
paper we ask, what conditions cause data resources to lose their integrity,
and how do organizations maintain resources of sufficient integrity overt
time? Emerging from a multi-sited ethnographic study of multiple healthcare
organizations, we find that organizations face multiple conditions that
usher in breakdowns in data integrity. Further, organizations engage in a
complex process to create data resources of acceptable quality in an
ongoing basis -- what we call “data crafting.” Taking a critical IS
perspective and applying a practice theoretic lens, we show that data
resources do not have pre-existing characteristics that render them low or
high quality. Rather, data quality is always relational with the local
configuration of DDDM tools and processes and the organization’s goals in
applying analytic attention through data-driven practices.

Kathleen (Katie) H. Pine is an assistant professor in the College of Health
Solutions at Arizona State University. Pine is an interdisciplinary social
scientist working at the intersection of Human Centered Computing
(including HCI, CSCW, and health informatics), Organization Science, and
Science and Technology Studies (STS). Her research centers on data
practices: the situated social, technical, and organizational practices
through which data are created, managed, and deployed, as well as the
social and organizational implications of digital information technologies
in the realms of healthcare and community health. She has a doctorate in
social ecology from University of California-Irvine and worked previously
as a postdoctoral research engineer in the UXR group at Intel Labs, as an
assistant project scientist in the Department of Informatics at the
University of California-Irvine, and as academic coordinator for the Salton
Sea Initiative. Her work has been published in venues including ACM CHI,
ACM CSCW, Big Data & Society, and Academy of Management Journal.

Register here:

Alexander Halavais (he/him)   @halavais
Associate Professor of Data & Society
New College, Arizona State University

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