What makes data possible? A sociotechnical view on structured data innovations

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Journal Title
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Volume Title
Conference article in proceedings
Date
2021
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
10
5922-5931
Series
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2021, Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Volume 2020-January
Abstract
Drawing from the theory of digital objects, this paper examines the distinction between structured and unstructured data as carriers of facts. We argue that data do not 'have' a structure but are made by a structure that confers data their capacity to represent contextual facts. We employ a case vignette involving XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) and its use in statutory financial reporting to illustrate and explore the sociotechnical nature of data and to describe what we call data innovations: new valuable ways to render phenomena as data. We find that data structure is best viewed as a matter that is relative to a purpose in a context. Theorizing data from a sociotechnical perspective could evolve to provide, in effect, the material science of digital economy.
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Publisher Copyright: © 2021 IEEE Computer Society. All rights reserved.
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Citation
Aaltonen , A & Penttinen , E 2021 , What makes data possible? A sociotechnical view on structured data innovations . in T X Bui (ed.) , Proceedings of the 54th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2021 . Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences , vol. 2020-January , Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences , pp. 5922-5931 , Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences , Maui , Hawaii , United States , 05/01/2021 . https://doi.org/10.24251/HICSS.2021.716