Fountain Addresses Big Data and the Common Good


July 10, 2014, Chicago

Distinguished Professor Jane Fountain spoke at the 26th annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, held in Chicago last month.

Fountain participated in a featured panel titled “Big Data Across Organizational Forms and Markets.” Her presentation focused on the capacity of government institutions to leverage large data sets and to develop public policies to exploit innovation while protecting the public good.

This was the latest public address that Fountain has given on the topic of big data, a term used to describe complex data sets that are too large to process using traditional computational applications. Increasingly sophisticated technology has allowed social scientists to analyze this kind of data with greater nuance and accuracy.

Last fall, Fountain was one of the experts invited to the Oxford Internet Institute’sworkshop “Responsible Research Agendas for Public Policy in the Era of Big Data.” She participated as the director of the National Center for Digital Government. In addition to academic experts and researchers, the workshop convened senior agency staff from several federal bureaus, including labor statistics; census; and the Office for the Management of the Budget.

Photo: public domain photograph, By User:Shoffman11 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons