• Making Sense of Big Data – Can it Transform Operations Management?

      Matthias, Olga; Fouweather, Ian; Gregory, Ian; Vernon, A. (2016-02-22)
      This paper focuses on the application and exploitation of Big Data to create competitive advantage. It presents a framework of application areas and how they help the understanding of targeting and scoping specific areas for sustainable improvement. Empirical evidence demonstrates the application of Big Data in practice and tests the framework. An exploratory approach is adopted to the secondary research which examines vendors’ offerings. The empirical research used the case study method. The findings indicate that there is opportunity to create sustainable competitive advantage through the application of big data. However there are social, technological and human consequences that are only now beginning to emerge which need to be addressed if true long-term advantage is to be achieved. The research develops a framework and tests it only in 2 dimensions. This should be expanded. The vendor analysis limitations lie within the nature of the information available and the difficulties in mitigating against bias. The suggested framework can help academics and managers to identify areas of opportunity to do so, setting new levels of performance and new agendas for business. This work contributes to service operations management, building on Kranzberg (1986) and the impact of technology and on Fosso Wamba et al. (2015) by developing a systems application framework to further understanding of big data from a practical perspective to extend their research taxonomy insights. Our case studies demonstrate how the use of BD enhances operational performance.