• Christian Ringstad Schultz
  • Lene Pettersen


Digital data is argued to be a part of “the new oil” and a key driver for digital innovation, digitalization, business development, and the data-driven economy, but the term “digital data” is not well defined in the literature and numerous definitions exist. Without a more unified understanding of “digital data”, its assumed potential may be difficult to unlock. This study conducted a comprehensive review of the data construct in the information systems (IS) literature from a meso-perspective and gained insights from a qualitative case study of a platform as a service (PaaS) company. Building on these insights, we developed a conceptual model we labeled the RIQA framework to illustrate fundamental characteristics of “digital data” that were (1) considered to be important for future definitions of digital data, and (2) needed for the enablement of digital data. These insights also led to one of our main discoveries: the importance of data accessibility in enabling digital data to be effectively utilized, a consideration of which was lacking in the literature. We contributed to the IS literature by examining, in-depth, how studies have approached digital data and organizations have used it to deliver data services to clients. We also contributed by proposing a conceptual framework to facilitate a better understanding of what constitutes digital data.