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Department of Management
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE



Patrizia Bertini

PhD student in Information Systems and Innovation


Patrizia Bertini is PhD Candidate in the Information Systems and Innovation Group, Department of Management. She holds a MSc in Sociolinguistics from Università degli Studi di Pavia (Italy). Before joining LSE in 2009, she had been working as consultant and researcher in the e-inclusion and e-accessibility field. In particular, she had worked with CAs and finantial institutions and still collaborate with EU institutions (DG Information Society) in the area of social inclusion. As a researcher she has been awarded with the e-Hungary scholarship for research activities concerning digital TV and social inclusion performed at ITTK| (Information Society and Trend Research Institute), a research institute of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, and worked for the European Internet Accessibility Observatory|, an European project funded by the EU-Commission, focussing on user needs and developing UWEM| (Unified Web Evaluation Methodology).

Past research interests include: e-inclusion strategies and technologies, HCI, usability, accessibility, internet for elderly and disabled users, assistive technologies, e-government and digital television. Currently the focus of her research are: privacy, personal data management, data quality and methodologies.

Research Interests

Thesis:  'The Practice of Data Quality in the Organisation and the Influence of Privacy and Data Protection Regulations: a Constructivist Approach'

The ease of collecting personal data from customers using new technologies has greatly increased the amount of data organisations are dealing with and data quality has emerged as a particularly strategic asset.

Although data quality has been a well established research field for the last 30 years, new technologies have broaden the importance of data and the impact of data quality. If, at the beginning, data were handled mainly by IT specialists focusing on well formed data warehouses, today data are an important resource for many departments within the organisation and the same data set is processed with different objectives by several professionals as part of their daily activities.

A number of different approaches from different fields, have attempted to provide a framework to understand and improve data quality, nevertheless the resulting literature is inconsistent and such a fragmented scenario reflects organisations’ practice: several professionals, with different backgrounds, needs and approaches operates and handle data every day within the organisation and inconsistencies in definitions and attitude can seriously affect organisations procedures.

The research adopts a constructivist approach and considers data as a socio-technical construction in which data are sustained by the technical infrastructure (the data warehouses), but are framed within the social and organisational context.
The social nature of data and the importance of context is, moreover, emphasised by the constraints and limits on data collection, storage and processing stated in the increasing number of data protection and privacy regulations.
In such a complex scenario a shared understanding of the concept of data quality is essential in order to grant consistent results and improve practice.

The research will therefore address the following questions:

  • Do all managers and operators involved in data processing activities found their practice on a shared understanding of data and data quality?
  • How do managers with different backgrounds, responsibilities and objectives construct and define data and data quality?
  • As data referred within this research are personal data, how are data protection laws affecting practice and the different departments within the organisations?

To answer these questions, the research will run focus groups involving key figures within the organisations in order to reveal internal dynamics and processes which shape the concept and the practice of data quality, bringing to light how privacy and personal data protection regulations are perceived and affect practice.

This PhD is supported by the EnCoRe Project| - a UK research project funded by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board, Economic & Social Research Council and Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.



Patrizia Bertini