User Interaction Metadata For Improved Information Traceability

Sami Laine, Marko Nieminen, Mika Helenius

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    The origin of information must be traceable to determine its true contextual meaning and actual quality. Information flows can be traced from two complementary perspectives: information management and software systems. In management practices, various modeling methods are used to document and analyze information flows. In software systems, data lineage capability provides automatic traceability of information products back to their original data sources. However, accuracy of information is affected by many contextual and human factors that are unrecognizable from technical data flows or abstract management models. In this study, we suggest that information traceability methods should cover more metadata on such factors. We use design science research approach to gradually develop three iterations of artifacts: theoretical categorization, laboratory prototype, and software application. In the first iteration, we gathered empirical data about user interaction situations to illustrate the potential use cases for user interaction metadata. We also categorized user interaction metadata properties that could be collected automatically from computerized processes, workflows, and user interfaces. We mapped user interaction metadata to five categories: interaction context, documentation, input controls, value properties, and interaction structures. Results from empirical cases suggest that additional user interaction metadata could help to recognize, explain, and fix contextual data quality problems in real-life information production processes. During later iterations, our research project will develop prototypes to collect user interaction metadata and then evaluate them in real organizational settings. In the future, software-based data lineage capabilities should expand their coverage to user interaction metadata. Also, managerial modeling and analysis tools could use user interaction metadata to discover, analyze, and model actual organizational processes in more detail.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe 18th International Conference on Information Quality (ICIQ 2013); Little Rock, Arkansas, USA; November 7-9, 2013
    Place of PublicationBoston
    ISBN (Electronic)9781629938448
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2013
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventInternational Conference on Information Quality - Little Rock, United States
    Duration: 7 Nov 20139 Nov 2013
    Conference number: 18


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Quality
    Abbreviated titleICIQ
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityLittle Rock


    • Context Data
    • Data Lineage
    • Data Provenance
    • Data Quality
    • Information Lineage
    • Information Quality
    • Semantic Data
    • Traceability
    • User Interaction Metadata


    Dive into the research topics of 'User Interaction Metadata For Improved Information Traceability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this