My area of research on the Programmable City Project examines how digital data materially and discursively support and process cities and their citizens. This work falls within an emerging field called critical data studies. A recent working paper entitled Small Data, Data Infrastructures and Big Data, is an example of critically thinking about data, as is the forthcoming book The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences and my earlier work on data preservation, access, and data infrastructures. The new Big Data and Society journal also provides some theoretical orientation. Dublin and Boston, are the Programmable City’s formal study sites and I will add a little bit of Canada in that mix from time to time. The first part of my research consists of constructing ‘data landscapes’ for Dublin and Boston, by which I mean mapping out the different organisations involved in producing, analyzing, and selling data and analytic services, of which big data are an important component. A key element is reading a number of reports, papers, and consultations on the topic, as well as conducting interviews and attending industry and academic events, I will share questions and observations here in blog posts. At first, these will mainly be descriptive and comparative. However, this reading combined with empirical case studies will lead to a more critical examination of the data assemblages of big data, open data, indicators, maps and data infrastructures. I will be guided by two theoretical frameworks, Rob Kitchin’s ‘Data Assemblages’ and a modified Ian Hacking Making Up People and Spaces framework.

Big Data, Programmable City, European Research Council, NIRSA, NUIM
SSRN Electronic Journal

Lauriault, T.P. (2014). Working Paper Big Data Series: Critical Analysis of the Irish Big Data Skills Report. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2614499