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Data science for business: benefits, challenges and opportunities

Mauricius Munhoz de Medeiros (School of Administration, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Norberto Hoppen (School of Management and Business, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo, Brazil)
Antonio Carlos Gastaud Maçada (School of Administration, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 27 March 2020

Issue publication date: 18 May 2020




This paper aims to identify the benefits of data science (DS) for organizations, highlighting the challenges and opportunities related to developing this capability.


Initially, a literature review was performed. Later, empirical data were collected through a structured electronic interview answered by 211 informants, who are most experienced managers of medium and large organizations from different economic sectors, and data were submitted to content analysis.


The most frequently observed benefits are as follows: support for data analysis and insight generation with agility; creation of a data-driven culture; improvement of data quality; facilitating the understanding of the business environment, opportunity sensing; and organizational performance management. The most observed challenges are as follows: data-driven culture; DS training; allocation of investments in analytical technologies; and data governance and strategy.

Research limitations/implications

In addition, to mapping the state of the art on the subject, it contributes to the expansion of scientific knowledge through the identification and disclosure of 11 benefit indicators and 16 challenge indicators associated with analytical capabilities.

Practical implications

To transform data into information and add value to the business, organizations need to make efforts to enable executive mindset change, the formulation of strategies and governance mechanisms gave the renewal of workforce competencies and the allocation of investments in information technology.


A vast body of empirical evidence is gathered that consolidates different views on the benefits and challenges associated with DS for business.



This study was financed in part by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).


Medeiros, M.M.d., Hoppen, N. and Maçada, A.C.G. (2020), "Data science for business: benefits, challenges and opportunities", The Bottom Line, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 149-163.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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