Author: Ralph Schroeder

Journal Title: Cogent Social Sciences

ISSN: 2331-1886 (Online)

Publisher: Cogent OA


This paper, based on 28 interviews from a range of business leaders and practitioners, examines the current state of big data use in business, as well as the main opportunities and challenges presented by big data. It begins with an account of the current landscape and what is meant by big data. Next, it draws distinctions between the ways organisations use data and provides a taxonomy of big data business models. We observe a variety of different business models, depending not only on sector, but also on whether the main advantages derive from analytics capabilities or from having ready access to valuable data sources. Some major challenges emerge from this account, including data quality and protectiveness about sharing data. The conclusion discusses these challenges, and points to the tensions and differing perceptions about how data should be governed as between business practitioners, the promoters of open data, and the wider public. 

© 2016 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.

Illustration Photo: A production line (Public Domain from


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