Biography of Data: A Societal Level Perspective On Data Quality

Farjam Eshraghian, Ashley Lloyd, Stephen Harwood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The prevailing view to the data lifecycle is the same as the view to the process of manufacturing of products and
it is called data production process. Different data roles which have been considered in this process are data
collector or generator, data custodian and data consumer. Lee (2004) suggests that if these roles have adequate
contextual knowledge, the quality of data improves significantly. At the societal level, “psychic distance”
between different data roles needs to be accommodated. We argue that networked-view (Law and Singleton
2005) to the process of data production helps to have better understanding of how these roles can affect data
quality at the societal level. According to this view an independent data role can be assumed for the technology
which is being used in the process while its role is generally considered to be incorporated in other data roles.
Leonardi (2010) argues that digital technology has materiality, hence, we decided to consider a role for
information technology in this process which leads us to the technology vendor’s indirect role in the process of
data production. We argue that the data consumer should understand other data roles’ perception from his/her
context is crucial for improving the quality of data when one or more data roles are from different societal
groups (countries). Drawing on Kopytoff’s biography of things, we suggest biographical perspective gives
complementary insight into data quality issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Conference on Information Quality (ICIQ-2014)
PublisherInternational Conference on Information Quality
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event19th International Conference on Information Quality (ICIQ-2014) - China, Xian, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Aug 20143 Aug 2014


Conference19th International Conference on Information Quality (ICIQ-2014)
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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