Key Challenges in Big Data Startups: An Exploratory Study in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Management of Technology, Faculty of Management and Accounting, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran

2 Technology Studies Institute (TSI), Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, HEC Montreal, Montreal, Canada

4 IT research Centre, ICT research institute, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


Due to the explosion of data in recent years and the increase in its commercial application, big data and its analytics have attracted the attention of governments, academics, and practitioners, especially that of the startups. At the same time, regarding the recent nature of the phenomenon, entrepreneurship literature lacks a thorough understanding of the contextual challenges experienced by big data startups. Therefore, this study aims to contribute to the literature of big data entrepreneurship by identifying the environmental challenges of big data startups and exploring the priority of these challenges in the context of Iran, a developing IT market country. For this purpose, our research method is comprised of two phases: identifying the challenges of big data startups' using in-depth interviews and questionnaire, and prioritizing such challenges based on experts' assessments using a fuzzy analytic hierarchy process. Our findings revealed that lack of particular laws and policies for big data, lack of transparency, data mismanagement, financial challenges, technological and educational weaknesses, unawareness of big data advantages, and lack of willingness for utilizing it are the most significant challenges of big data startups in a developing context. The paper concludes with some policy and managerial recommendations for creating a supportive environment for startups.


Main Subjects

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