The Rich Facets of Digital Trace Data

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterBook chapterResearchpeer-review


In this article, we demonstrate how IS researchers can leverage the richness captured in the digital traces of social interactions within digital environments. We do so by proposing an approach to qualitative computational analysis based on 'faceting' of digital trace data. To illustrate how the faceting approach can be applied to data analysis, we describe the construction of three 'facets' inherent to digital trace data. Specifically, we show how researchers can focus on social structures (relational facet), sequences (processual facet), and meaning (semantic facet). We explain how to construct and work with each facet as a combination of analytical activity carried out by the analyst (data unit separation, data discretization, category validation, and conceptualization), as well as the analytical focus to which analytical activities are directed; the analysis of relations, processes, or semantics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge University Press Handbook of Qualitative Research in the Age of Digitalisation
Number of pages23
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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