IT Utilities to Exploit Data as a Commodity in Digital Economy

IT Utilities to Exploit Data as a Commodity in
Digital Economy
Jeremy Frey, Steve Brewer
(University of Southampton)
Research Data Management: Finding our Role
University of Oxford
6 December 2013
University of Southampton
• Known evangelists for Open Access & ePrints
• Collaborative approach to data between the
library and computing services
• Open Data Institute
• University data policy in place
• Considerable research underway on use of
Web to facilitate data capture with a regard to
• IT as a Utility Network+
– 1 of 4 networks supported by Research
Councils UK
• Aim: better understanding the benefits
and opportunities afforded by the digital
• Objective: foster collaboration between
academia, business and policy-making
ITaaU, RCUK and the Digital Economy
Data as the commodity
ITaaU workshops
The role of libraries
Where does this lead us?
IT as a Utility
funded under Research Council UK's Digital Economy theme
The Digital Economy vision is of the
transformational impact of digital
technologies on all aspects of life.
Introduction: partners & collaborators
• PI and Co-Is:
• Advisory group:
– Jeremy Frey, PI (University
of Southampton)
– Gerard Parr (University of
– Mark Sandler (QMUL)
– Richard Mortier (University
– Mike Surridge (University of
BBC Reseaerch
Cabinet Office
Cambridge &
Newcastle Universities
Steve Brewer – Network Coordinator
(University of Southampton)
The Digital Economy and ITaaU
3D printing
The Cloud
cloud computing
food security
smart spaces/
smart cities”
“apps are the
new taps…”
sensors &
libraries of
the future
electronic lab
telecommunications notebooks
Workshop themes have included:
• libraries of the future
• emerging economies,
• user interaction design
• trust and security
First two successful pilot projects recently confirmed:
• Trusted Tiny Things – led from University of
• Using Wireless Networks to Support First
Responders and Resilience in Upland Areas – led
from QMUL & Cambridge
Call 2 has recently closed
“a temporary transfer to a new research
opportunities for career development,
sectoral knowledge transfer and
access to short term skills for project
Where does this lead us?
• Data lies at the heart of the digital economy
• This has many implications for the future
• Big data
– huge quantities of homogenous, heterogeneous
and disparate – new mathematics needed
• Security and trust issues will pervade
• Design matters – democratization of data and
its by products: information and knowledge
Data as a commodity…
…on which IT utilities aim to prosper.
• commodity, n.
– The quality of being ‘commodious’; conveniency, suitability, fitting
utility; commodiousness. Obs.
– Etymology: < French commodité (15th cent. in Littré), < Latin
commoditāt-em due measure, fitness, convenience, complaisance, <
– “The concrete senses appear to have arisen in the modern languages”
LOTF – the story so far…
A significant sub-theme within the Digital
Economy, including IT as a Utility Network+
1. Libraries traditionally hubs within academic
institutions and communities at large
2. Digital Economy predicated on smart cities
and (digitally) connected communities
3. Role and requirements of new technology
and utilities for Libraries of the Future?
How we arrived here…
• 17 April, 2013 – Bodleian Library workshop
– Emerging and changing roles for librarians
– Qualities not (yet) encapsulated within the digital?
– Collaborative learning opportunities
• 18 September, 2013 – Scoping workshop (Soton)
“Digital is more than digitised” DDR
Do systems lock in processes?
Design for flexibility? Community led structures?
Lessons learnt from universities restructuring?
• 13 November, 2013 – BL, Libraries of the Future
– Multidisciplinary spaces where people spent time
– Medieval data deluge, exchange of volumes
– Role of libraries in supporting knowledge creation
Libraries and the digital economy
• How: four workshops and discussions held
• What: emergent DE library themes:
– social activity; social learning; and future roles and
• Then: reflections of the history of libraries:
– multidisciplinary spaces in which people
spent time (and lived) in order to learn
– Collaboration and interaction both valued
– Oxford tradition of copying visitors’ books
– Medieval data deluge as book nos. rose
• Now: greater support for knowledge creation
• Libraries as Social Machines:
– objects-people-technology
– how to exploit knowledge about use of assets
"People take information
(and getting them to that
information is part of a
library's role) and they
turn it into something
new. In business we would
call it innovation, in
academia we call it
scholarship. The library's
role is to provide a set of
services that help people
in that process: to get
people from information
to new knowledge.”
Christine Madsen
Libraries of the Future?
Birmingham Library
© Mecanoo Architects
Courtesy of Lori Nix - [email protected]
How do IT utilities contribute to:
1. Data and library granularity:
1. Data preservation role: not just books, the role of the
2. preservation of process
3. Safety process matters
2. Can we build a physical library from Zooniverse?
1. Where and how do the conversations take place?
2. Can we build a physical library from devices?
3. Do we need a new name for libraries and librarians?
1. Professional personal development role?
2. Embedded librarians?
Join the ITaaU Network+
Mailing list:
Hashtag #itaaun
Twitter: SteveITaaU
Facebook page:
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn group: IT-as-Utility-Network

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