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On the value of Digital Traces for commercial strategy and public policy: Telecommunications data as a case study

Claxton, Rob and Reades, Jon and Anderson, Ben (2012) 'On the value of Digital Traces for commercial strategy and public policy: Telecommunications data as a case study.' World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, 2012 - Living in a Hyperconnected World. pp. 105-112.

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Just as information and communication technologies (ICT) and the digital economy are transforming everyday life, so they are transforming our ways of knowing about everyday life. The breadth of social practices that are mediated by digital infrastructure, and thus recorded by digital traces, has not gone unnoticed in the social sciences.1 Coupled with technological and methodologi- cal advances in large-scale data capture, storage, and analysis, transactional data on communication, con- sumption, leisure, health, work, and education are now routinely collected and can, in principle, be employed for a wide range of analyses. Clearly, the increased traceability of social networks can enhance our ability to extract actionable insight by analyzing their form, distribution, and structure through digital media. Consequently, an enormous potential to generate important insights and innovation exists within the social sciences through an improved understand- ing of spatialized social networks (i.e., place-based analyses of social network structures over time). As we will show, these networks have applications in—at the very least—regional development, market research, and infrastructure planning because the structure and spatial distribution of social networks underpins demand (and, consequently, supply or provisioning) as well as provides indicators of well-being, integration, and cohesion.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of > Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation
Depositing User: Ben Anderson
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2012 15:47
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:16

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