Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


Big data analytics is the next frontier in creating digital opportunities for businesses. However, analytics projects rarely deliver the intended benefits for the organizations that invest in these. To address this challenge, we report from an action research study on improving benefits realization in Vestas, an organization highly involved with big data analytics. Here, we introduce the benefits dependency network, a map of the relationships between analytics technology, organizational change activities, stakeholders’ interests, and the potential benefits of a big data analytics project. Through four action research iterations involving three projects in Vestas, we developed and evaluated a method for benefits dependency networks for big data analytics. In this study, we present lessons on: (1) the usefulness of the method in big data analytics projects, (2) how it can be embedded into existing project methodologies, and (3) how facilitation is needed in connecting the domains supporting benefits realization needs. We conclude the paper by discussing our lessons’ contributions to the extant research on big data analytics and benefits realization management.