Mundane data: The routines, contingencies and accomplishments of digital living

Sarah Pink, Shanti Sumartojo, Deborah Lupton, Christine Heyes LaBond

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    136 Citations (Scopus)
    49 Downloads (Pure)


    This article develops and mobilises the concept of ?mundane data? as an analytical entry point for understanding Big Data. We call for in-depth investigation of the human experiences, routines, improvisations and accomplishments which implicate digital data in the flow of the everyday. We demonstrate the value of this approach through a discussion of our ethnographic research with self-tracking cycling commuters. We argue that such investigations are crucial in informing our understandings of how digital data become meaningful in mundane contexts of everyday life for two reasons: first because there is a gap in our understanding of the contingencies and specificities through which big digital data sets are produced, and second because designers and policy makers often seek to make interventions for change in everyday contexts through the presentation of mundane data to consumers but with little understanding of how people produce, experience and engage with these data.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalBig Data Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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