Big Data As Governmentality in International Development: Digital Traces, Algorithms, and Altered Visibilities

Flyverbom, M./Rasche, A./Madsen, A.K. (2017): Big Data as Governmentality: Digital Traces, Algorithms, and the Reconfiguration of Data for International Development. Information Society, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 35-42.

22 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017  

Mikkel Flyverbom

Copenhagen Business School

Anders Madsen

Copenhagen Business School

Andreas Rasche

Copenhagen Business School

Date Written: January 10, 2017

Abstract

Statistics have long shaped the field of visibility for the governance of development projects. The introduction of big data has altered the field of visibility. Employing Dean’s “analytics of government” framework, we analyze two cases – malaria tracking in Kenya and monitoring of food prices in Indonesia. Our analysis shows that big data introduces a bias towards particular types of visualizations. What problems are being made visible through big data depends to some degree on how the underlying data is visualized and who is captured in the visualizations. It is also influenced by technical factors such as distance between mobile phone towers and the truth claims that gain legitimacy.

Keywords: big data, sustainable development, governance, statistics, visualisation

Suggested Citation

Flyverbom, Mikkel and Madsen, Anders and Rasche, Andreas, Big Data As Governmentality in International Development: Digital Traces, Algorithms, and Altered Visibilities (January 10, 2017). Flyverbom, M./Rasche, A./Madsen, A.K. (2017): Big Data as Governmentality: Digital Traces, Algorithms, and the Reconfiguration of Data for International Development. Information Society, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 35-42.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2896599

Mikkel Flyverbom

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Anders Madsen

Copenhagen Business School

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Andreas Rasche (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

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