‘Data Saves Lives’: Data Work in a Healthcare Business Intelligence Unit

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Big Data and the digitalization of healthcare has encouraged a movement towards becoming data-driven. Although hailed as a solution to a plethora of challenges, the hype of Big Data, however, often oversees that data requires work – by humans. The emergent field of data work emphasizes these skilled but oft-invisible efforts required to make healthcare data-driven. Based on an ethnographic study, this project investigates data work in a healthcare business intelligence unit. The project’s purpose is to identify the skills and tasks that constitute data work within the unit, as well as how healthcare data work roles and tasks change in the process. In this paper, I present findings form my project: I first describe the collaborative work in constructing standardized and reliable data products that is applicable across multiple sites; I then describe the necessary work conducted to implement and disseminate data products in local healthcare practices. Finally, I summarize my next steps and expected contributions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work : The International Venue on Practice-centered Computing on the Design of Cooperation Technologies – Doctoral Colloquium
Number of pages8
PublisherEuropean Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Publication dateJun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
EventECSCW 2023: The 21st European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 5 Jun 20239 Jun 2023


ConferenceECSCW 2023
LocationNorwegian University of Science and Technology
Internet address
SeriesReports of the European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies:


  • Business intelligence
  • Big data
  • Data work
  • Data-driven
  • Healthcare
  • Ethnography


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