Can Big Data Be Described as a Data Supply Chain?

4 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2015

Date Written: March 14, 2014


What is a data supply chain and could the concept address social implications of big data? If so, what analytic approaches are possible? If not, how is big data different from physical supply chains? The concept was developed in collaborative conversation with danah boyd and others during the January 2014 National Science Foundation workshop on "Big Data, Big Decisions: A Workshop for a Research Agenda on the Social, Economic and Workforce Implications of Big Data". I was invited to lead an afternoon breakout workshop on Data Supply Chains during the "Social, Cultural and Ethical Dimensions of Big Data" event sponsored by the Data & Society Research Institute, New York University, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on March 17, 2014. The New York event was one of three White House "Big Data and Privacy Review" events held to support the OSTP report "Big Data: Seizing Opportunities, Preserving Values" issued May 1, 2014. I would like to thank the attendees who addressed the questions posed in this document and challenged my thinking further.

Keywords: big data, social implications, supply chains, data, ownership,

Suggested Citation

Washington, Anne, Can Big Data Be Described as a Data Supply Chain? (March 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Anne Washington (Contact Author)

NYU Steinhardt ( email )

New York University
Steinhardt School
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

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