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Understanding business ecosystem dynamics: A data-driven approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalACM Transactions on Management Information Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Business ecosystems consist of a heterogeneous and continuously evolving set of entities that are interconnected through a complex, global network of relationships. However, there is no well-established methodology to study the dynamics of this network. Traditional approaches have primarily utilized a single source of data of relatively established firms; however, these approaches ignore the vast number of relevant activities that often occur at the individual and entrepreneurial levels. We argue that a data-driven visualization approach, using both institutionally and socially curated datasets, can provide important complementary, triangulated explanatory insights into the dynamics of interorganizational networks in general and business ecosystems in particular. We develop novel visualization layouts to help decision makers systemically identify and compare ecosystems. Using traditionally disconnected data sources on deals and alliance relationships (DARs), executive and funding relationships (EFRs), and public opinion and discourse (POD), we empirically illustrate our data-driven method of data triangulation and visualization techniques through three cases in the mobile industry Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the coopetitive relation between Apple and Samsung, and the strategic partnership between Nokia and Microsoft. The article concludes with implications and future research opportunities.


  • Business ecosystem, Data triangulation, Information visualization, Interorganizational networks

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland