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There is a long history of governments, businesses, science and citizens producing and utilising data in order to monitor, regulate, profit from, and make sense of the world. In general, data are taken at face value. This module, however, will critically interrogate the nature of data, how they are being produced, organised, analysed and employed, and how best to make sense of them and the work they do. In other words, it will employ a more philosophical approach to data. The course will provide:
(1) a detailed overview of big data, open data and data infrastructures;
(2) an introduction to thinking conceptually about data, data infrastructures, data analytics and data markets;
(3) a critical discussion of the technical shortcomings and the social, political and ethical consequences of the data revolution;
(4) an analysis of the implications of the data revolution to academic, business and government practices.
The core book accompanying the course will be: Kitchin, R. (2014) The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences. Sage, London.