The Work of Infrastructural Bricoleurs in Building Civic Data Dashboards

Firaz Peer, Carl Disalvo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Historic Westside Universities Alliance Data Dashboard was created to meet the data equity needs of a group of resource-constrained communities in the Westside neighborhoods of Atlanta. We observed the development of this dashboard by participating as ethnographers and developers of its public safety module. Our ethnography and subsequent situational analysis of the dashboard's infrastructuring process led us to the work that individual stakeholders do in bringing such a dashboard to fruition. These stakeholders, whom we call infrastructural bricoleurs, operate through principles of situated knowledge, partial perspectives, limited power, and located accountability. Our analysis, which builds on concepts of infrastructures, bricolage, and feminist principles of technology design, helps us add further specificity to the work that infrastructural bricoleurs need to do when building civic data dashboards with resource constrained communities. Our findings benefit other researchers studying data infrastructures as well as administrators and practitioners within programs like DSSG (Data Science for Social Good) who are interested in building data infrastructures under similar constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Volume6
Issue numberCSCW1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 7 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dean Jennifer recalls that when she initiated the dashboard project, not everyone within the university was convinced of the utility of a data dashboard for community engagement, which made obtaining university funding difficult. A grant from the Ford Foundation helped get the dashboard project off the ground. Throughout the development process, the dashboard and its team survived on limited funds that the Dean could piece together from different sources, which is one reason why the HWUA could not recruit an external organization to build out the dashboard.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Owner/Author.

Keywords

  • bricolage
  • data dashboards
  • data equity
  • data for social good
  • ethnography
  • information infrastructures
  • infrastructural inversion
  • situational analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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