Big Data for Decision Making: Are Museums Ready?

  • Deborah AgostinoEmail author
  • Michela Arnaboldi
  • Eleonora Carloni


This study investigates the extent to which big data support decision making in museums by highlighting the main opportunities, threats and novel requirements connected with the usage of big data for decision making in museums.

This study is based on an action research project carried out in three Italian state museums that were provided with an online platform that generated real time (big) data about online users. This platform offered the opportunity to investigate “what” type of big data are used, “who” are the big data users and “how” big data were used by museums decision makers.

Results show a contradictory picture about the usage of big data for decision making in museums. Big data are not used alone, but need to be combined with traditional data that support big data interpretation. A central element for big data usage is represented by human resources: even though data are already collected, analysed and integrated by predefined algorithms, the key challenge is about human resources and their required mix of analytical, IT and communication skills. Also the external environment influences the extent of big data usage.


Big data Social media data Museums Decision making Performance measurement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Agostino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michela Arnaboldi
    • 1
  • Eleonora Carloni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management Economics and Industrial EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly

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