The mobile ecosystem consists of a heterogeneous and continuously evolving set of firms that are interconnected through a complex, global network of relationships. However, there is very little theoretical understanding how these networks emerge and evolve and no well-established methodology to study these phenomena. Traditional approaches have primarily utilized alliance data of relatively established firms; however, these approaches ignore the vast number of relevant ecosystem activities that occur at the personal, entrepreneurial, and university level. We argue and empirically illustrate that a data-driven approach, using both alliance and socially-curated datasets, can provide important complementary explanatory insights into the dynamics of the mobile ecosystem. We present our approach through two recently formed mobile ecosystem relationships – the strategic partnership between Nokia and Microsoft and Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Our analysis is complemented using network visualization techniques. The paper concludes with implications and future research opportunities.