Big Data in the Public Sector:A Systematic Literature Review

Cecilia Fredriksson, Farooq Mubarak, Marja Tuohimaa, Ming Zhan

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review


    This systematic literature review describes how the concept of Big Data in the public sector is theoretically and practically understood in the academic field. The article’s purpose is to achieve a comprehensive understanding of Big Data in the public sector, which does not currently exist. The selection for an accurate investigation, according to chosen inclusion criteria, was 156 literature items out of 1643 articles and publications. To gain more knowledge on the topic, five themes were selected; evolution, definition, applications, challenges and the future of Big Data in the public sector. Our findings show that such themes have been emerging more widely since 2012, however, a definition of Big Data has still not been agreed upon. Most commonly Big Data is described with reference to its characteristics. Thus, practical applications related to Big Data in the public sector were studied, as were the challenges and potential challenges that are emerging in the management of Big Data. There is great potential for public administration organisations to benefit from Big Data in the future, both from its practical operations as well as its strategic management in the public sector domain.

    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1–23
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Administration
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

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