Culture is future » Innovation and digital


Contribution : "How to develop a data culture?" By Marion Rampini

Big data, Smart data, Fast data… A plethoric amount of expressions have come about to designate this phenomenon, increasingly well known of public and private structures and consumers. However, the culture of data has yet to be acquired by both organisations (in France, only 17 % of companies actively handle this issue), and individuals (70 % are reluctant to the use of their personal data, and few are aware of its impact on their daily life, and on public and private structures)[1]. On the legal side, the implementation of ethical frameworks still lags behind technological progress. Nevertheless, realizing the vast potential brought about by data makes it clear that a new industrial revolution is underway, thus making the promotion and implementation of a data culture critical for both consumers and companies. How can we build and share this Big data culture?

Transforming structures

Big data changes markets, value chains and working and thinking patterns.  In light of these changes, organisations have to adapt permanently, which implies transforming management visions. Data culture has to be supported and inspired by top management, but it also requires developing a horizontal and collaborative work dynamic. Furthermore, it is necessary to train teams to the stakes of Big data, to support research and development, and to develop collaborative platforms and projects.

Transforming uses

Through tweets, Facebook comments, pictures, we are all producers of data. Each of us become aware of the implied responsibility[2], even though it remains difficult to understand how to protect ourselves from the use of our personal data. In order to reconcile citizens with data, an ethical framework for use and behaviours has to be developed, in the form of a code of best practices, promoted both by companies internally (through e-learning or lectures), and public structures (through media or teachers for instance).

Involving cultural and creative industries in the acquisition and transmission of the Big data culture

Because firms are not interested in simply knowing your mobile carrier anymore, but want to know your tastes, interests, and those you share them with, cultural and creative industries are in the centre of a rich data ecosystem. This sector has a key role in the spreading of the data culture[3], particularly in response to the market dominance by GAFA[4]. This sector, as well as schools, can be a prime vector for the relaying of new usage and operational methodology. Museums especially, as keepers of our heritage, could become reference points for ethical usage, offering exhibitions and lectures on best practices dealing with our life privacy.

Through adopting this culture of transformation, structures and citizens will be key players of an ethical, dynamic and stable Big data system, fostering the emulation of innovative and collaborative projects.

[1] EY, « Big Data : où en sont les entreprises françaises ? », november 2014.

[2] The Preliminary Declaration of the Digital Human Rights proposed by the Forum d’Avignon, illustrates these ethical issues. Forum d’Avignon, Report: Personal data, a cultural issue, (online). Forum d’Avignon,, (online).

[3] EY, Comportements culturels et données personnelles au cœur du Big data. Entre la nécessaire protection et une exploitation au service des nouveaux équilibres économiques, Survey for the Forum d’Avignon, 2013.

[4] Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

About Marion Rampini

Graduated from ESCP Europe / Ca' Foscari / Ecole du Louvre. A passionate enthusiast in the Big data Revolution, its economic and societal impact, and the innovation it spurs. Provides analysis of digital uses and practices. Publishes on the stakes of Big data in the field of culture, especially with regards to museums.

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On Twitter : @MarionRampini