The Data Disconnect
Kurtis Tanaka at the 2020 RDAP Summit
On Thursday, March 12, Kurtis Tanaka is presenting on “The Data Disconnect: How Changing Industry Data Sharing Policies Impact Business Research and Pedagogy” at the Research Data Access & Preservation Association’s 2020 Summit in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information and to register, please see the conference website.
About the presentation
Business represents the most popular undergraduate major in the United States and is a field that heavily relies on data for both research and instruction. This reliance makes business an interesting case study in how data access informs research practice and pedagogy. Though possessing uniquely close ties to industry, there is growing concern among business faculty over increasingly restrictive data sharing policies in the private sector. In this case, the commodification and changing profit models of commercial data is straining connections, rather than facilitating them. This negatively impacts how both faculty and students conduct research and, in the latter case, learn fundamental research and data literacy skills. Yet these very skills are of immense value to industry, and, of course, to the students themselves, both for their careers and in their daily lives. To understand the implications of these data issues in business education and research, Ithaka S+R recently collaborated with 14 academic libraries to study the teaching practices and needs of business instructors. This presentation will discuss the project’s key data and research related findings, including the changing relationship between business schools and the private sector, as well as the various workarounds faculty have implemented as industry data sharing practices have changed. It will further interrogate how these changing practices intersect with data literacy and research pedagogy in business schools and how they can lead to inequitable outcomes for disadvantaged students. Finally, it will identify critical library services capable of ameliorating this problem. Given the popularity of the business major, improvements in data and research pedagogy in this field has the potential to make an outsize impact on students’ proficiency in these skills more generally.