Customer involvement in big data analytics and its impact on B2B innovation

Haisu Zhang, Yazhen Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Extant literature assumes that customers mainly serve as passive data providers and that firms take responsibility for big data analytics. In line with a current trend in real-world practice, this research, based on the open innovation literature, challenges this assumption and argues that customers can have more engagement in big data analytics. The authors distinguish two constructs: Customer as Data Provider (CDP) and Customer as Data Analyst (CDA). The former is consistent with the mainstream view that customers serve as the data source. The latter, on the other hand, sheds light on an active role customers play in big data analytics – that is, customers participate in a co-creation process where they acquire, analyze and act on big data. Using survey data of 148 Business-to-Business (B2B) innovation projects, the authors find that both types of customer involvement facilitate B2B product innovation. Furthermore, the authors examine moderation effects of customer need tacitness and customer need diversity. Results show that customer need tacitness negatively moderates the relationship between CDP and new product performance while customer need diversity yields a positive moderation effect. Customer need tacitness is also found to positively moderate the relationship between CDA and new product performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
StatePublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


  • Big data
  • Customer involvement
  • Customer needs
  • Data analytics
  • New product development
  • Open innovation


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