To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Understanding social impact of data on local communities

Ayoung Yoon (Department of Library and Information Science, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Andrea Copeland (Department of Library and Information Science, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 8 July 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the social impact of data on communities from cases of community data utilization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study took an interpretive qualitative approach and conducted a semi-structured phone interview with 45 participants from data intermediaries and local community organizations.

Findings

The results demonstrate both direct and indirect impacts of data on local levels, including resolving local problems from data-driven decisions, realizing unknown problems or correcting misrepresented problems, changing community data practices, strengthening community identity and enhancing the community’s data skills.

Practical implications

The research shows that communities’ data utilization supported community-led actions and initiatives from the bottom-up perspective, which demonstrates the need for supporting communities’ data work.

Social implications

Minimizing inequality in data utilization should be resolved so that all communities can benefit from the power of data.

Originality/value

By demonstrating evidence of data being critical to encouraging communities’ data utilization, this study fills the gap in existing research, which lacks a clear explanation for how the potential of data can be realized at the local level.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (No. LG-96-17-0184-17). The authors also wish to express their thanks to the nine data intermediary organizations for their help with data collection and to Paula McNally for her help with initial data analysis.

Citation

Yoon, A. and Copeland, A. (2019), "Understanding social impact of data on local communities", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 71 No. 4, pp. 558-567. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-12-2018-0310

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited