Studying Dynamics and Change with Digital Trace Data: A Systematic Literature Review

Franzoi, Sandro; Grisold, Thomas; vom Brocke, Jan


Digital trace data offer promising opportunities to study dynamics and change of various socio-technical phenomena over time. While we see a surge of empirical and conceptual articles, we lack a systematic understanding of why, how, and when digital trace data are or can be used to study dynamics and change. In this article, we present the findings of a systematic literature review to uncover common approaches, motivations, findings, and general themes in the existing literature. We systematically reviewed 40 studies that were published in premium outlets in the information systems field. Our review sheds light on (1) underlying purposes of such studies, (2) utilized data sources, (3) research contexts, (4) socio-technical phenomena of interest, (5) applied analytical methods, and (6) measures that are being used. Building on our findings, we point to several implications for research and shed light on avenues to advance this field in the future.

Keywords: digital trace data, dynamics, change, computational, process, temporal, literature review process theorizing, process research

Publication type
Forschungsartikel in Online-Sammlung (Konferenz)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)


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