9 May 2017

Data ethnographies: how do people live with data?

Be the first to share

Data Ethnographies is a Lab of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Data Ethnographies investigates the implications of the increasing ubiquity of data in everyday lives and worlds. We approach data from an ethnographic perspective to:

  • develop insights into what people do with emergent types of everyday data which surround and are produced by our everyday activities;
  • ask how people feel about how their data might be used by others; explore the implications of living in an environment where data is ‘everywhere’;
  • examine how data makes a difference and leads to innovation in social, political and organisational change; and
  • investigate the pressing question of how big data is impacting on and can add value to the worlds we live in.

The Data Ethnographies Lab approaches data in a unique way. Much existing debate is on how Big Data can be meaningfully engaged with, and what we might learn from it through computational data analytics. The Lab bring to this a novel ethnographic perspective, which takes us deep into the real everyday contexts where data is produced and experienced.

The Lab has published five position papers: personal data in an uncertain world, ethics and data futures, humbling data in a playful world, data stories and broken stories. A March 2017 talk by DERC Director Sarah Pink can be viewed here.

Be the first to share
28 April 2017
[Book] Quantitative Ethnography
Quantitative Ethnography David Williamson Shaffer Boswell Press Available April 2017 > Download Introduction > Watch video presentation This is a book about understanding why, in the digital age, the old distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research methods, between the sciences and …
22 April 2017
An anthropologist in the boardroom
"It is often tempting to think that the 21st-century world is so closely integrated and digitised that the issue of culture is becoming irrelevant," writes Gillian Tett in the Financial Times. "But behind the scenes, …
21 April 2017
[Book] The Stuff of Bits – An Essay on the Materialities of Information
The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information by Paul Dourish MIT Press, May 2017 264 pages Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds, and online stores, are backed by the large-scale …
6 April 2017
Interview with Prof. Bill Beeman on the ways ethnography can improve business
A fertile relationship is growing between anthropology and business. Marketers are finding that anthropologists gather very useful knowledge by studying consumers in their natural habitat using the ethnographic techniques of observation and interviewing. A leader in …
5 April 2017
Ethnography and industry: a reflection on a coming of age
Patrick G. Watson, lecturer in the Sociology department and Social Psychology program at McMaster University, Canada, has recently published a thoughtful review of two business ethnography books: Advancing Ethnography in Corporate Environments: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities …
2 March 2017
Understanding life’s speed from an anthropological perspective
The latest issue of the Cultural Anthropology journal features a new contribution to the journal’s Openings and Retrospectives section: an Openings collection, "Speed," edited by Vincent Duclos, Tomás Sánchez Criado, and Vinh-Kim Nguyen. In their …
28 February 2017
Organizational culture as lazy sensemaking
Laura A. McNamara describes what ethnographers can do about the cultural equivalent of the fundamental attribution error, also known as correspondence bias. "It’s a common category error (at least among the Western psych undergrads who volunteer …
19 January 2017
Anthropologist Sally Applin on the automation of qualitative methods
Anthropology and its methodologies cannot easily be automated. However, both design and engineering based organizations are attempting it. Anthropologist Sally A. Applin argues that this is based in part on historic legacy systems, a misunderstanding …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

31 March 2017
Experientia guide to Milan Design Week 2017

It’s that time of year again – Milan’s don’t-miss event for the design community is here. If you’re looking to get inspired at Milan Design Week, then check out our top picks for the latest edition, from Experientia’s designers, strategists and partners. Milan might be best known for its busy streets, traditional cafés and world […]

12 January 2017
Experientia’s CITYOPT project awarded prestigious French award for its sustainable development design

Following the 2016 Smart Innovation Award at “FIMBACTE Trophées du Cadre de vie”, the CITYOPT project has once again been recognized, this time in the prestigious French design competition: “Observeur du Design 2017”, in the Service Design category. In June 2016, CITYOPT won the first stage of the Observeur du Design. Now the project has […]

1 December 2016
More on upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Last month Putting People First announced the upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities in Nice France. Meanwhile we are pleased to announce the full event agenda (see below). This event will feature professionals from leading research institutes and industry gathering to present key initiatives which combine Energy Efficiency and Service Design […]

29 October 2016
Upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Invitation to the International Conference on Design & Sustainable Innovation for SmartCities Nice (France) 8 December 2016 On the 8th December 2016, the CITYOPT project will host an international conference on Design and sustainable innovation for SmartCities, at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, France. An open invitation to attend is offered to people and organisations who […]

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, panel judge for MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

See all articles