Data Practices Research Project

I am leading a project examining private sector research and product development practices, particularly as they relate to user data. I am interested in how practitioners define and organize research activities, generate insights about users from collected data, institutional cultures around internal practices, publication policies, and information sharing protocols with academic partners.

I am looking to speak with data scientists, engineers, research staff, user experience researchers, or anyone who asks questions about user data to generate insights and/or solutions for a private company. Current and/or past positions are of interest. Questions will focus on how you define your role and placement within the organization, general process and constraints on how you ask questions of the data and share any findings, and the nature of collaborations you may have had with academics or medical researchers. Interviews may take place from 30 minutes to an hour at your convenience, in person or over the phone.

I come from a science and technology policy background, and am interested in private tech companies as a site for research activities and valuable data collection. As research funding at universities faces increased pressure, I am interested in understanding the opportunities for corporate research and the limitations, so we can reimagine our national research infrastructure in a way that helps society and our economy. This project aims to provide empirical work that supports evidence based policymaking.

I am a PhD Candidate at the UC Berkeley School of Information, and co-director of the Center for Technology, Society & Policy (CTSP). If you are willing to talk with me about your work and/or perspectives, please send me an email (elaine@ischool.berkeley.edu). You can read more about me or my background here.

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