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Making Meaningful Information: The Data Work of BI Developers in Healthcare

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

The digitization of the Danish healthcare system has prompted the implementation of electronic healthcare records and other IT systems. Vast volumes of accumulated data produced with these systems are now being repurposed for secondary uses such as quality assessment and optimizing workflows in clinical care. However, whereas much attention is often placed on the larger processes and the benefits of healthcare datafication, the practices of working with data on-site are often overlooked. This paper offers a new understanding of this oft-invisible data work and the efforts going into repurposing data. Based on an ongoing investigation of data work in healthcare, this paper uses ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative methods to engage in a study of a Business Intelligence unit. Here, BI developers produce data reports with the purpose of supporting the work of healthcare staff members with meaningful information. I analyze the BI developers’ challenges of turning repurposed data into meaningful information which is a sociotechnical endeavor that requires not only technical skills, but also domain knowledge as well as close collaboration between BI developers and healthcare staff. This study will contribute to our understanding of datafication as human practice and show the importance of approaching it from the actors’ perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year5 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2021
EventThe Anthropology of Technology Conference - Aarhus University, Aarhus , Denmark
Duration: 4 Nov 20215 Nov 2021


ConferenceThe Anthropology of Technology Conference
LocationAarhus University
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Data, Data work, Business Intelligence, Ethnography, Healthcare

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ID: 224046687