The Data Economy

The data economy uses data as a medium of exchange. Data was recently described by Forbes as becoming more valuable than oil. In my dissertation, I examine the background, present, and future of the data economy and break it down into data providers, data users, and data intermediaries. I illustrate the phenomenon and extend theory through mixed methods research and two case studies.

Data Activism

Data activism is political action expressed through data science. Typically comprised of volunteer hacktivists who rescue and archive open data, new forms of data activism crop up as technology, politics, and needs change. Most importantly, data activism has given rise to the ability of individuals to take direct action to save, clean, or archive data instead of waiting for a government response.

Open Data

Open data is freely available to all without restriction or license. It is the cornerstone of e-Government programs to increase transparency and trust. It has also given rise to new phenomena such as data journalism, new tools, and new companies who seek to build on the foundation of open data.

Digital Activism

Digital activism is ICT mediated political activism. While a number of traditional political activities have translated neatly into our digital world, such as email instead of snail mail, new forms have emerged. New technologies such as social media, text messaging, and smartphone video and internet access have radically changed the speed, content, and participation of political activists.

Digital Divide

While technology has the potential for tremendous benefits for marginalized people, many have not been able to take advantage of technology boons. Understanding what hinders socio-economic and cultural groups from leveraging technology is the first step in working towards solutions. Technical egalitarianism has the potential to improve social welfare and increase educational and economic benefits across society.

Data Intermediaries

Today's data is created in gigantic amounts through sensors, systems, algorithms, and transactions, among others. Yet transforming data into actionable information is a continuing challenge. Intermediaries can play a critical role in the transformation of impractical viscous data into usable liquid data.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management interests me from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Although the topic has been explored for decades, it constantly changes as technology brings new affordances.

image of smart phone reaching out to the world
qtq80-o0o3RJ

Methods

I am primarily a qualitative researcher, and a proponent of grounded theory method. I am also interested in critical realism, mixed methods, and quantitative methods for certain topics, particularly PLS-SEM for exploratory analysis. I also use R/R Studio, JMP, and SAS depending on the size of my datasets and my visualization needs.