Scaling by Optimising: Modularisation of Data Curation Services in Growing Organisations

  • Hagen Peukert Universit├Ąt Hamburg


After a century of theorising and applying management practices, we are in the middle of entering a new stage in management science: digital management. The management of digital data submerges in traditional functions of management and, at the same time, continues to recreate viable solutions and conceptualisations in its established fields, e.g. research data management. Yet, one can observe bilateral synergies and mutual enrichment of traditional and data management practices in all fields. The paper at hand addresses a case in point, in which new and old management practices amalgamate to meet a steadily, in part characterised by leaps and bounds, increasing demand of data curation services in academic institutions. The idea of modularisation, as known from software engineering, is applied to data curation workflows so that economies of scale and scope can be used. While scaling refers to both management science and data science, optimising is understood in the traditional managerial sense, that is, with respect to the cost function. By means of a situation analysis describing how data curation services were applied from one department to the entire institution and an analysis of the factors of influence, a method of modularisation is outlined that converges to an optimal state of curation workflows.

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