Big Data
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Big Data

Promise, Application and Pitfalls

Edited by John Storm Pedersen and Adrian Wilkinson

Big data and 'the package' of the digital society is de-mystified in this important book. A group of international experts frame the debates around big data and analyse its impact in different sectors in practice. They also examine whether big data and the digital society can deliver on its promises.
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Chapter 10: Data-driven management in practice in the digital welfare state

John Storm Pedersen


Two cases of data-driven management within the highly digitalized Danish universal welfare state are presented, analyzed and discussed. The first case shows how data-driven management is deployed in a hospital in Region Hovedstaden (Capital Region of Denmark). The focus is on how data-driven management supports organizational performance. Danish hospitals and the Danish healthcare system in general both have a long-standing tradition of data-driven treatments that support data-driven management in Danish hospitals. The second case investigates under what conditions it is possible to establish data-driven management in an environment without any tradition of data-driven decision-making processes. The focus is on how data-driven management can help to improve the provision of public welfare services to long-term unemployed citizens to help them to get jobs. The services are provided by social workers within Jobcenter Vordingborg located in Vordingborg Municipality. On the basis of the two cases of data-driven management these four questions are answered: (1) Where is data-driven management going? (2) Is the development desirable? (3) What, if anything, should we do about data-driven management? (4) Who gains and who loses because of data-driven management, and by which mechanisms of power? One of the key conclusions is: the creation of a delicate balance between top-down and bottom-up management is a must for data-driven management to work in practice.

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