Archive | January 2012

Ethical analytics

A colleague and fellow student on the LAK12 MOOC course writes about collecting data in Higher Education.

” Is it necessarily a ‘good thing’ to know more about our students than the face that they choose to present? What are the dangers of making assumptions about their current or future behaviour based on what we (think we) know about them? ” at

But what’s the ethics of making assumptions?  Surely the ethics is in what you do with the data?

The recent twitter about mobile phone provider O2 who O2 was sending customers’ mobile phone number with every HTTP req in the headers when on 3G shows what upsets people is first what gets done with their data, then that it gets collected at all.

I’ve more to think here – room for your thoughts too?


Further analysis

You should be able to get three or four papers out of a PhD thesis, and PhD research provides rich data for further work beyond the PhD.  Now, with hindsight, I begin to see new trails to follow and analyse.

I’ve been re-analysing my PhD data to find where participants talked about strategy, because a recent advertisement for a research associate post asked for knowledge and research background in strategy.

My PhD looked at areas of IT and client-consultant relationships on IT projects, which meant that several participants mentioned IT strategy and how IT strategy might support overall strategy.  What is interesting from an initial analysis of my data is that

  1. first some people confused tactics with strategy, and
  2. secondly what roles those people had.

It is scary that it was the client managers that confused strategy, and worrying that these managers were in the public sector.

I’d like to investigate this area of strategy further, using discourse analysis to explain what I’m seeing.  First I’m going to have to revise what I know about discourse analysis, and it would  be nice if I could work with a professional academic who could share such knowledge, someone I could learn from.   One of my previous PhD colleagues did a lot of discourse analysis and I will ask her advice.   And perhaps my ex-supervisors will have some ideas too that we can talk over sometime.