Reimagining and demystifying data: a storytelling approach

Ian Hardy*, Louise Phillips, Vicente Jr Reyes, M. Obaidul Hamid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this article, we contest globalised notions of data as ‘universally’ beneficial, necessary and ‘evidence-based’. We do so by drawing upon narrative accounts of the problematic ways data impact educators researching and working in university and schooling settings over time and in varied national contexts. We reveal how data are transient and often erroneous, even as data appear omnipresent and omnipotent. Employing an auto-ethnographic storytelling approach, we draw upon our diverse experiences as educators working within and across multiple national and subnational contexts – in England, Singapore, Bangladesh and Australia – to reflect on how data have reconstituted and recalibrated our experiences in school and university settings. We seek to break the ‘myth’ of data – that we cannot live without the supposedly complete construction of work and life that dominant, reductive assemblages of data provide. In doing so, we argue for the reimagination and demystification of broader data regimes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-601
Number of pages18
JournalComparative Education
Issue number4
Early online date27 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2023


  • Globalisation
  • datafication
  • schooling performance
  • storytelling
  • auto-ethnography


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