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Big data analytics capabilities and knowledge management: impact on firm performance

Alberto Ferraris (Department of Management, University of Torino, Torino, Italy) (Graduate School of Economics and Management, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation)
Alberto Mazzoleni (Department of Management, Universita degli Studi di Brescia Aree Disciplinari Economia, Brescia, Italy)
Alain Devalle (Department of Management, University of Torino, Torino, Italy)
Jerome Couturier (Department of Management, ESCP Europe, Paris, France)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 16 November 2018

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019




Big data analytics (BDA) guarantees that data may be analysed and categorised into useful information for businesses and transformed into big data related-knowledge and efficient decision-making processes, thereby improving performance. However, the management of the knowledge generated from the BDA as well as its integration and combination with firm knowledge have scarcely been investigated, despite an emergent need of a structured and integrated approach. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


Through an empirical analysis based on structural equation modelling with data collected from 88 Italian SMEs, the authors tested if BDA capabilities have a positive impact on firm performances, as well as the mediator effect of knowledge management (KM) on this relationship.


The findings of this paper show that firms that developed more BDA capabilities than others, both technological and managerial, increased their performances and that KM orientation plays a significant role in amplifying the effect of BDA capabilities.


BDA has the potential to change the way firms compete through better understanding, processing, and exploiting of huge amounts of data coming from different internal and external sources and processes. Some managerial and theoretical implications are proposed and discussed in light of the emergence of this new phenomenon.



Ferraris, A., Mazzoleni, A., Devalle, A. and Couturier, J. (2019), "Big data analytics capabilities and knowledge management: impact on firm performance", Management Decision, Vol. 57 No. 8, pp. 1923-1936.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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