Technical infrastructures & organizational structures

A suitable data infrastructure is an essential precondition for using big data. Specific technical requirements are needed to handle huge amounts of data.

However, applying big data can also change the organizational structure and lead to increased interdepartmental collaboration. To solve communication problems in the future, employees will have to work in interdisciplinary teams and be able to share their knowledge.

Suitable data infrastructure

  • Companies should create a transparent data infrastructure allowing different departments to have access to the data. According to experts, a data laboratory with a data lake gathering all data and insights is the ideal solution.

  • The collection and analysis of data have comply with the current law. In order to do this companies should anonymize, pseudonymize or synthesize data.

  • Communicators should know what kind of data is available within the company and which data they can use for strategic communication planning.


    • In order to use big data in communications, interdisciplinary collaboration and horizontal structures will become more important.

    • Ideally, flexible subteams consisting of experts with diverse functional backgrounds will work together across departments.

    • A command center, e.g. for analyzing social media data, will have the task of combining existing knowledge and supporting/providing other departments with analysis and information.

    • Even the best command center will not be able to generate insights if processes on how to implement findings and responsibilities remain unclear. 


      From 2015 to 2017 a team at the University of Münster headed by Professor Ulrike Röttger and Dr. Christian Wiencierz explored the potentials, challenges and requirements for the use of big data in Corporate Communications.



      Downloads & further readings



      Further reading:

      • Bitkom (2016): „Germany - Excellence in Big Data“.
      • BVDW – Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft e.V. (2017): Social Media Monitoring in der Praxis. Grundlagen, Praxis-Cases, Anbieterauswahl und Trends.