Tkacz N, Henrique da Mata Martins M, Porto de Albuquerque J, Horita F, Dolif Neto G. Data diaries: A situated approach to the study of data. Big Data & Society. January 2021.
This article adapts the ethnographic medium of the diary to develop a method for studying data and related data practices. The article focuses on the creation of one data diary, developed iteratively over three years in the context of a national centre for monitoring disasters and natural hazards in Brazil (Cemaden). We describe four points of focus involved in the creation of a data diary – spaces, interfaces, types and situations – before reflecting on the value of this method. We suggest data diaries (1) are able to capture the informal dimension of data-intensive organisations; (2) enable empirical analysis of the specific ways that data intervene in the unfolding of situations; and (3) as a document, data diaries can foster interdisciplinary and inter-expert dialogue by bridging different ways of knowing data.
Read the full paper open access at: doi:10.1177/2053951721996036