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Data-Driven Foresight in Life Cycle Management: An Interview Study

Discontinuities in the market create space for disruptive business opportunities. Companies are therefore increasingly interested in proactively identifying future competitive advantages. Researchers Marie Scheuffele, Dr. Niklas Bayrle-Kelso and Prof. Dr. Leo Brecht published their paper on Data-Driven Foresight in Digital Disruption and Transformation Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics 2024.

A data-driven foresight differs from a vision in that its predictions are based on scientific findings on technology, demographics, regulations and much more. A promising approach for companies to proactively identify future competitive advantages is Data-Driven Foresight (DDF). By using different data sources from various perspectives, DDF can derive solid statements about trend-driven developments in the future. 

As technology life cycles accelerate, industrial firms increasingly want to incorporate foresight activities into their Life Cycle Management to foster digital transformation.The researchers asked themselves: How do companies obtain their data for DDF in Life Cycle Management and what alternative data sources are recommended? Using a systematic literature review, they described the current data sources and classified them along the life cycle.

Twenty semi-structured expert interviews with practitioners from different types of companies show valid premises for data selection and for the practical implementation of DDF. Regarding this, a recognizable difference between technology leaders and followers exists, which opens another gap for future research.