‘The Secret Life of a Weather Datum’ is our new research project looking into the impact of socio-cultural values and practices on ‘big’ data sets as they are produced, transformed, and reused in a variety of contrasting contexts: government; climate science; financial markets; and, citizen science. Starting with a single temperature reading, we aim to ‘follow the datum’ on its journey through these different scenarios, with a view to developing a new approach to researching big data production and use that takes account of these wider influences.
Work started in January 2014, and we are currently planning the data collection for our first two case studies focused on government data production and climate research. Over the coming months we aim to conduct interviews and observations in key organisations, and we’ll keep you posted as the work unfolds.
Public engagement and impact is another important element of the project, so look out for our interactive web site in due course, which will allow you to follow the datum yourself, and to access a variety of publications and resources via open access and open data licences.