Marja Alastalo, University of Eastern Finland, marja.alastalo (at)

Marta Choroszewicz, University of Eastern Finland, marta.choroszewicz (at)



The datafication of society is fast under way, and it is profoundly shaping our everyday lives and affecting our access to resources and power. At the same time, it is also becoming difficult to keep track of what bits of data about us are collected. Yet, these massive volumes of data are increasingly being used to inform decisions of civic, social or even vital importance such as who gets medical treatment, education, employed, or arrested. Such data-driven decisions can reflect and amplify the existing inequalities. The promises, expectations and aspirations related to Big Data and data-driven decision-making are high and promising; the challenges, costs and problems are often unclear and concealed.


This working group welcomes presentations ranging from full to work-in-progress papers and from empirical work to theoretical and methodological reflections. The topics of the presentations may include, but are not limited to: 1) expectations and challenges related to collection, management and utilization of digital data for data-driven decisions; 2) the power of data to allocate resources and thus enable or hinder equal participation in social life; 3) the activities and reasoning related to translation of  social practices and institutions of health care and social services in to a data-driven mode; 4) changes in relations between different groups of professionals involved in the making of data-driven society; 5) changes in social relations between people and technology.