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Data-Driven Service Innovation: A Systematic Literature Review and Development of a Research Agenda

Authors:

Abstract

The potential created by ongoing developments in data and analytics permeates a multitude of research areas, such as the field of Service Innovation. In this paper, we conduct a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to investigate the integration of data and analytics as an analytical unit into the field of Service Innovation – referred to as Data-Driven Service Innovation (DDSI). Overall, the SLR reveals three main research perspectives that span the research field of Data-Driven Service Innovation: Explorative DDSI, validative DDSI, and generative DDSI. This integrated theoretical framework describes the distinct operant roles of data analytics for Service Innovation, and thus contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of DDSI by providing three unified lenses, which researchers can use to describe and locate their existing and future research endeavors in this ample field. Building up on the insights from the SLR, a research agenda is proposed in order to trigger and guide further discussions and future research surrounding DDSI. Ultimately, this paper aims at contributing to the body of knowledge of Service Innovation in general and Data-Driven Service Innovation in particular by presenting a three-dimensional research space model structuring DDSI towards its advancement.
Association for Information Systems
AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
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DATA-DRIVEN SERVICE INNOVATION: A
SYSTEMATIC LITE$TURE REVIEW AND
DEVELOPMENT OF A RESEARCH AGENDA
Christian Engel
University of St. Gallen/4<5=>5-919317?95=3/4
Philipp Ebel
University of St. Gallen;4575;;1.17?95=3/4
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Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 1
DATA-DRIVEN SERVICE INNOVATION: A SYSTEMATIC
LITERATURE REVIEW AND DEVELOPMENT OF A RE-
SEARCH AGENDA
Research paper
Engel, Christian, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, christian.engel@unisg.ch
Ebel, Philipp, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland, philipp.ebel@unisg.ch
Abstract
The potential created by ongoing developments in data and analytics permeates a multitude of re-
search areas, such as the field of Service Innovation. In this paper, we conduct a Systematic Literature
Review (SLR) to investigate the integration of data and analytics as an analytical unit into the field of
Service Innovation referred to as Data-Driven Service Innovation (DDSI). Overall, the SLR reveals
three main research perspectives that span the research field of Data-Driven Service Innovation: Ex-
plorative DDSI, validative DDSI, and generative DDSI. This integrated theoretical framework de-
scribes the distinct operant roles of data analytics for Service Innovation, and thus contributes to the
body of knowledge in the field of DDSI by providing three unified lenses, which researchers can use to
describe and locate their existing and future research endeavors in this ample field. Building up on the
insights from the SLR, a research agenda is proposed in order to trigger and guide further discussions
and future research surrounding DDSI. Ultimately, this paper aims at contributing to the body of
knowledge of Service Innovation in general and Data-Driven Service Innovation in particular by pre-
senting a three-dimensional research space model structuring DDSI towards its advancement.
Keywords: Data-Driven Service Innovation, Service Innovation, Literature Review, Research Agenda.
1 Introduction
Over the past decade, it has become a popular saying that "data is the new oil", as Clive Humby, co-
founder of Dunnhumby Customer Data Research, explained in 2006. This phrase may be overused,
but it still shows the ubiquitous role of data and analytics in the age of digitalization. The amount of
valuable machine-readable data is steadily increasing (Turner, Gantz, Reinsel and Minton, 2014). In
this data-rich environment (Troilo, De Luca and Guenzi, 2017), data and analytics can be leveraged
beyond mere internal process improvements (Davenport, 2013). Instead, it can be used to develop mu-
tually beneficial long-term customer relationships (Ostrom et al., 2015; Robinson, Chan and Lau,
2016), create new or enhance existing product or service offerings (Chester Goduscheit and Faullant,
2018), and thus create a competitive advantage (Davenport, 2013). Simultaneously, developments,
such as the rise of Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Cyber-Physical systems (C.-H. Lim,
Kim, Heo and Kim, 2015a, 2015b), build the foundation for the emergence of data-driven ecosystems,
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 2
which are globally connected and bear the potential of impacting our everyday life (Lokshina, Durkin
and Lanting, 2017).
Due to the potential that is created by new developments in data collection and processing, data and
analytics permeate a multitude of research areas, such as the field of Service Innovation. In this paper
we refer to Service Innovation as the rebundling of diverse resources that create novel resources that
are beneficial (i.e., value experiencing) to some actors in a given context (Lusch and Nambisan,
2015, p.161). The integration of data and analytics as an analytical unit into the field of Service Inno-
vation referred to as Data-Driven Service Innovation (DDSI) in this paper has gained popularity in
recent years (Demirkan et al., 2015; Rizk, Bergvall-Kåreborn and Elragal, 2017; Urbinati, Bogers,
Chiesa and Frattini, 2018). Thus, the number of scientific publications dealing with DDSI has steadily
increased. This can also be observed in our Systematic Literature Review, in which we were able to
identify 85 papers (the majority of them ranging between the years 2010 and 2018) investigating this
topic. As we will show in the course of our SLR, these publications are divided into three different
research streams, which are loosely related but relatively independent from each other. However, for
the progress of a certain research field, it is important that previous research is presented transparently,
that the individual research streams are highlighted, and their interrelationships are presented. This is
particularly important for relatively young research areas such as DDSI in order to arrive at an inte-
grated conceptualization and synthesis of representative literature on which future research efforts can
build on (Torraco, 2005). So far, to the best of our knowledge, such an integrated conceptualization
does not exist, which results in DDSI being terminologically fuzzy. Our SLR addresses this gap by
contributing to creating a common vocabulary and structuring the terminological basis of DDSI. Thus,
we intend to answer the following research question:
Which research streams and their particular research perspectives constitute the research field of Da-
ta-Driven Service Innovation (DDSI) and how can they be precisely distinguished from each other?
The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: First, we provide a brief summary of the theoreti-
cal background on Service Innovation and data analytics before a Systematic Literature Review (SLR)
according to Webster and Watson (2002) and vom Brocke et al. (2009, 2015) is conducted to grasp
and structure the field of DDSI in its breadth and depth. Subsequently, an integrated theoretical
framework covering distinct research streams on the operant role of data analytics for Service Innova-
tion is conceptually derived from literature. Finally, a structured research agenda taking into account
and building up on the state of the art in the particular research streams of DDSI is proposed.
Overall, this Systematic Literature Review intends to contribute to the body of knowledge in the field
of DDSI by providing an integrated theoretical framework of the operant role of data analytics for
Service Innovation. This framework suggests three unified lenses on the field, which span the three-
dimensional research space of DDSI. Researchers can use the conceptually derived research space to
describe and locate their existing and future research endeavors in this ample field. Structured within
the research space of DDSI, a research agenda for DDSI is proposed in order to trigger and guide fur-
ther discussions and future research. By compiling and elaborating on this agenda, we hope to pave the
way for a more thorough conceptual convergence in the field and future research breakthroughs.
2 Conceptual Background
In recent years, scientific interest in the field of Service Innovation has grown considerably (Miles,
1993; Hertog, 2000; Breidbach and Maglio, 2015). This increased interest results from a number of
overlapping trends. In the B2C-sector, the rise in living standards within the industrialized countries is
increasing the demand for personal services, which is driving growth in the services sector (Bryson,
Daniels and Warf, 2004). In the B2B-sector, the complexity of internal and external company struc-
tures increases the need for professional coordination services. Examples for such services include
supply chain management, supply chain mediation, or services related to the logistics of a company.
Consequently, numerous companies in the entire business landscape have recognized services as the
driving force behind their company's growth. Along with these developments, the scientific interest in
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 3
how new services are developed and commercialized has also increased. Under the headings of Ser-
vice Development (Cowell, 1988; Edvardsson and Olsson, 1996), Service Engineering (Bullinger,
1999; Leimeister, 2012; Beverungen, Lüttenberg and Wolf, 2018), Service Design (Lynn Shostack,
1982; Ramaswamy, 1996; Seidelin, Dittrich and Grönvall, 2017), or Service Business Modelling
(Zott, Amit and Massa, 2011; Maglio and Spohrer, 2013; Zolnowski, Weiss and Bohmann, 2014;
Engel, Haude and Kühl, 2016), numerous different studies have been undertaken in recent years
(Metters and Marucheck, 2007; Oke, 2007; Alter, 2008; Gallouj and Savona, 2009; Dörner, Gassmann
and Gebauer, 2011; Oliveira and von Hippel, 2011). All of the fields mentioned above deal with dif-
ferent facets of Service Innovation from different angles and individual research perspectives and thus
are part of the analysis. Here, we will highlight some key features of Service Innovation as the over-
arching theme of this paper as well as important research streams in this area.
According to Hertog (2000), a Service Innovation can be divided into four dimensions. These dimen-
sions comprise the service concept, the customer interface, the service delivery system, and the under-
lying technology. A Service Innovation can therefore be created by varying one of these four dimen-
sions or by recombining several of them (Miles, 2008). In addition, changes in one dimension may
also require changes in other dimensions. For example, the development of a new service delivery sys-
tem often requires changes to the customer interface. Following this logic, Service Innovation consti-
tutes a reconfiguration of a service system with the goal of increasing the value of the service system
(Breidbach and Maglio, 2015). This goes along with the definition of Service Innovation according to
Lusch and Nambisan (2015) provided in the introductory section of this paper. An important differen-
tiation criterion between Service Innovation and other forms of innovation such as product innovation
is the interactive nature of Service Innovation (Barras, 1990). Service Innovations are often the result
of technological changes or changes in market conditions, which require a certain company to adjust
their services to these new conditions. In addition, Service Innovation is developed in strong interac-
tion with customers or in co-production with business partners, whose knowledge can significantly
influence the developed service (Gann and Salter, 2000; Fosstenløkken, Løwendahl and Revang,
2003; Dougherty, 2004). This human-centered perspective is a necessary defining characteristic of
Service Innovation, delimitating it from other innovation disciplines and taking into account that any
“service depends on people, human behavior, human cognition, human emotions, and human needs”
(Maglio, 2015, p. ii). Thus, Service Innovation leads to the creation of new or improved so-called hu-
man-centered service systems, which require the development of service-specific methods and theories
(Maglio, Kwan and Spohrer, 2015). Another feature of Service Innovation is that it is often based on
the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) (Barras, 1986). In traditional ap-
proaches to Service Innovation, ICT has only been seen as a means of providing a service that can in-
crease the productivity and efficiency of a new service (Barras, 1990). In contrast to that, more recent
work attributes a different role to ICT and views ICT as an independent resource in Service Innova-
tion, which becomes a fundamental and transformative factor (Vargo and Lusch, 2004; Vargo and
Lusch, 2008; Vargo, Maglio and Akaka, 2008; Lusch and Vargo, 2014). Based on this recent under-
standing of Service Innovation, it is assumed that the digitization of information, and thus the ability to
collect, process and use data, will become a key success factor of Service Innovation (Yoo,
Henfridsson and Lyytinen, 2010). In their study investigating the data-driven nature of modern service
delivery enabled by data and analytics, Lim and Maglio (2018) use a text mining approach to define
the term smart service system as “a service system that controls things for the users based on the tech-
nology resources for sensing, connected network, context-aware computing, and wireless communica-
tions(C. Lim and Maglio, 2018, p. 166). Lim and Maglio (2018) pursue an outcome-oriented, cus-
tomer-facing approach on investigating DDSI towards smart service systems, while other researchers
use DDSI to analyze and improve development processes, whereas the outcome can also be a physical,
non-digital service. Following this logic, data and analytics are no longer merely an operand resource
that enables Service Innovation but constitute active, operant resources with the ability to initiate,
guide, and therefore “drive” Service Innovation (Lusch and Nambisan, 2015). This combination of
data analytics and Service Innovation into one unit of analysis is also a logical consequence from the
development of the service-dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch, 2004) and the associated concept of
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 4
value-in-use (Vargo and Lusch, 2008), according to which the pure analysis of data without further
usage does not represent any significant value. Taking a broader view, this logic led to the develop-
ment of the research field "Data-Driven Service Innovation" (DDSI), which focuses on the use of data
and analytics within the whole process of Service Innovation (Demirkan et al., 2015; Urbinati et al.,
2018). Although numerous studies have already been conducted within this field of research, the dif-
ferent roles of data and analytics in Service Innovation have not been precisely conceptualized in an
integrative and holistic manner (Rizk et al., 2017). A structured systematization of the distinct per-
spectives and research streams of DDSI shall help to provide terminological clarity and conciseness in
the field of DDSI: Within this paper, we want to address this research gap with the help of a Systemat-
ic Literature Review (SLR).
3 Methodology
A Systematic Literature Review is carried out according to Webster and Watson (2002) and vom
Brocke et al. (2009, 2015). The overall search scope of the conducted SLR can be defined along the
dimensions of process, source, coverage, and techniques of the SLR (vom Brocke et al., 2015): We
use a sequential search process using four databases covering a wide range of business, innovation,
and Information Systems (IS) literature as a source for our SLR. Even though the process is sequen-
tial, small iterations concerning relevant keywords are applied in order to base the literature search and
analysis on a sufficient and relevant keyword set. The literature search intends to reach a representa-
tive coverage of the distinct perspectives on the research field of DDSI. Thus, a comprehensive set of
search techniques keyword search, backward search, and forward search is used to provide the
foundation for the literature analysis and conceptualization.
3.1 Paper Selection Process
Reaching reproducibility and transparency is a key quality criterion of adequately conducted SLRs.
Intending to live up to these quality criteria, the paper selection process applied in this work is pre-
sented in this sub chapter. It consists of four sequential steps as depicted in Figure 1.
AISel Emerald Sciencedirect EBSCO
1886
(scanned papers)
97
(relevant papers)
69
(without duplicates)
Backward
Search
+12
Forward
Search
+4
85
(Overall)
1. Selection of
searchstrings
2. Selection of
databases
3. Refinement of
keywords
4. Selection of
papers
("data" OR "analytics")
"service
innovation" "service" AND
"business modelling" "service
development" "service
design"
"service
engineering"
OR OR OROR
AND
The four sequential steps of the paper selection process are explained in further detail here:
Figure 1. Four-step process of the Systematic Literature Review (SLR)
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 5
Step 1 - Selection of search strings: Aiming at covering a wide part of literature in the field of DDSI,
the search strings are chosen to be broad. Thus, initially, the search string (“data” OR “analytics”)
AND “service innovation is used to approach the topic area of interest. All variations of the keywords
singular, plural, hyphenated, or not hyphenated are used in the SLR. Although the paper selection
process applied here is in general sequential, as no new iteration is started after the overall number of
relevant papers is determined, the set of search strings is refined iteratively (see also step 3) towards
the final set of search strings (see Table 1). We assume that papers relevant to this research use the
keywords “data” or “analytics” and service innovationin close proximity to each other in the text.
Furthermore, we intend to find papers, which treat DDSI and its related concepts as their focus. There-
fore, the database search is conducted in the title, abstract, and keywords of the papers.
Step 2 - Selection of databases: As we set the goal to identify representative literature samples of
different research perspectives on DDSI, a database search covering multiple journals and conference
proceedings is chosen over a purely journal-based search. We choose a database search since the hori-
zon of possible research perspectives should not be limited upfront when trying to integratively and
holistically cover a topic area. Additionally, journal acceptance processes take substantially longer
than conference proceedings to be processed, which would lead to neglecting some of the most recent
research. We try to avoid this as we assume that DDSI is a young and emerging topic. Therefore, four
literature databases covering a wide range of business, innovation, and Information Systems (IS) liter-
ature are selected to reach a representative search coverage, in particular AISel, Emerald, Sciencedi-
rect, and EBSCO.
Step 3 - Refinement of search strings: After iteratively refining the keywords in the course of the
search process, overall, five search strings are used for searching the four selected databases. Building
up on the initial search string (“data” OR “analytics”) AND service innovation”, we include related
concepts of Service Innovation as additional search strings to secure the integrational and holistic per-
spective of the SLR. Thus, we add (“data” OR “analytics”) AND “service” AND “business model-
ling, as service business modelling is needed to instantiate successfully conducted Service Innovation
endeavors. We are also interested in the concrete process steps that lead to Service Innovation to in-
vestigate how data and analytics are integrated there. Therefore, we include (“data” OR “analytics”)
AND “service development”, (“data” OR “analytics”) AND “service engineering” and (“data” OR
“analytics”) AND “service design” into our set of search strings. Searching in the title, abstract, and
keywords of the papers, the database search reveals 1,886 hits. This number still contains duplicates
and literature not relevant to the paper.
Step 4 - Selection of papers: In an initial screening process, the literature is scanned regarding title,
abstract, keywords, and research domain. Only literature in the English language is included. This
leads to 133 search results, which are screened in further detail. A subsequent full-text screening of the
gathered literature results in 97 relevant hits. In order to be considered relevant, a particular paper had
to deal with the interrelation of both data analytics and service innovation as the central focus concept
and unit of analysis of the papers. Papers dealing with it in a trivial or marginal way were removed
from the sample. After removing all duplicates, 69 papers remain to be relevant results of the keyword
search. This leads to a relevance ratio of approximately 5.14 percent (=69/1886) and a duplicate ratio
of 28.9 percent ( = (97-69)/97). To enable scholars to reproduce the keyword search, Table 1 depicts
the total and relevant search results per database and search string.
Table 1. Literature search results per database and search string
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 6
The set of search techniques applied here according to Webster and Watson (2002) and vom Brocke et
al. (2009, 2015) aims at being comprehensive. Thus, backward search and forward search are applied
in addition to the keyword search. This leads to twelve additional papers resulting from the backward
search and four additional papers resulting from the forward search. Overall, 85 papers are taken into
account for further analysis and conceptualization.
3.2 Paper Analysis and Conceptualization
The 85 relevant papers are analyzed from a concept-centric perspective. Thus, a concept matrix is cre-
ated from the literature search results (Webster and Watson, 2002) and all papers are analyzed in order
to derive the distinct research perspectives on DDSI, which holistically cover the unit of analysis in an
integrative manner. For this purpose, the concept matrix considers the focus concept of the article, the
particular unit of analysis, theoretical and practical contributions, and the research method that was
applied by the authors. Subsequently, the different concepts in literature are analytically aggregated in
the concept matrix to reveal the central research streams and perspectives on DDSI in literature. The
process of analysis is iterative. This means that distinct research perspectives and sub perspectives on
DDSI are gathered and then merged into particular meta-perspectives, which form individual concepts
of the concept matrix. This approach is based on the suggestions regarding Qualitative Content Analy-
sis through applying the coding strategies according to Forman and Damschroder (2007). The process
steps were iteratively validated by discussions between two researchers. This cross-validation ap-
proach intends to provide stable, valid, and reproducible research results. Nevertheless, it must be
noted that deriving concepts from literature is always an endeavor requiring individual and intellectual
human judgement. Therefore, a subjective bias can never be fully eliminated.
4 Results of the SLR on Data-Driven Service Innovation
Figure 3 depicts the number of publications over time that were identified in using our five search
strings. As it is shown, the youngest paper is from 2018 and the oldest paper from 2010. There is a
steep increase in publications over time, which supports our initial assumption of DDSI being an
emerging research field.
0
5
10
15
20
25
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Overall, the SLR revealed three main research perspectives, which span the multidimensional research
field of DDSI: Explorative DDSI, validative DDSI, and generative DDSI. We could clearly identify
most papers as belonging to the generative DDSI dimension (51), followed by the explorative (22) and
the validative (15) dimensions. We also found a subset of papers (25) on a meta-level that elaborate on
reasons for a more detailed investigation of the role of data and analytics in Service Innovation re-
search and its theoretical foundations, which supports the rationale of conducting this SLR.
As some papers take more than one research perspective on the role of data and analytics in Service
Innovation, a Venn diagram is chosen to visualize this overlap. Thus, Figure 2 shows how many pa-
Figure 2. Numerical overlap of the
DDSI research streams
Figure 3. Timeline of publications
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 7
pers are aggregated in the distinct DDSI perspectives and how they overlap from a numerical point of
view. In order to allow a robust categorization of existing literature, it is necessary to strive for a clear
definition and description of the different research perspectives (Suddaby, 2010). Thus, we provide the
particular definitions and conceptual boundaries of the derived research streams as well as the rela-
tions between them in Table 2 according to the concept of construct clarity in order to achieve a clear
delimitation between and inherent coherence within the streams (Suddaby, 2010).
In the following sub sections, the particular dimensions of DDSI are explained in further detail.
4.1 Explorative DDSI
We refer to explorative DDSI as the use of data and analytics for discovering opportunities, such as
needs, trends, ideas, or design options, for new or advanced services or (product-)service systems of
any kind. From a process perspective, this can be viewed as data and analytics being the trigger of the
Service Innovation process, which goes along with the view of them being operant digital resources
(Lusch and Nambisan, 2015). Thus, the service outcome in the explorative DDSI stream does not nec-
essarily rely on data as its key resource for value proposition. Traditionally, the task of exploration for
the purpose of Service Innovation has been approached from a quite manual perspective. Possible ex-
ploration methods include empathetic design, lead user methods, living labs (Edvardsson, Kristensson,
Magnusson and Sundström, 2012), as well as interviews, or vignette studies (Ostern, Eßer and
Buxmann, 2018). Ostern, Eßer and Buxmann (2018) used a vignette study design, which is rooted in
psychology and sociology methods, to explore the needs related to privacy concerns when designing
smart car applications, thus taking a quite traditional approach to explore how to design modern data-
and analytics-driven service ecosystems. As the capabilities of applying advanced data analytics are
increasingly growing, the explorative research stream of DDSI deals with leveraging data and analyt-
ics to make use of the ubiquitous data sources. This aims at making the exploration phase more effi-
cient and effective and enabling explorations which were simply not possible before the rise of Infor-
mation and Communications Technology and digitalization as a socio-technical phenomenon (Urbinati
et al., 2018; Zheng, Lin, Chen and Xu, 2018). Research in this stream therefore calls for more data-
driven exploration approaches such as data-driven service design tools, which integrate data as “mal-
leable material” into Service Innovation endeavors (Seidelin et al., 2017, p. 27). To illustrate the ex-
plorative DDSI dimension, some representative examples from research identified in the SLR are pro-
vided here.
One sub stream in literature on explorative DDSI deals with the use of user-generated big data
(Trabucchi, Buganza, Dell’Era and Pellizzoni, 2018). Malsbender et al. (2013), Lee and Lee (2015)
and Tanev, Liotta and Kleismantas (2015) point out the possibilities, which the application of text
mining on online data, such as sentiment analysis in social media, provides for companies when trying
Table 2. Definitions and conceptual boundaries of the three dimensions of DDSI
Engel and Ebel / Data-Driven Service Innovation
Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 8
to identify global trends from which new service opportunities can be deducted. Similarly, Heinonen
and Medberg (2018) emphasize the operant role that data-driven netnographic research can play for
exploring new opportunities in Service Innovation. For instance, the authors underline that, besides
delivering more personalized experiences and higher quality services, which would refer to the genera-
tive dimension of DDSI (see also section 4.3), new perspectives on traditional services can be gained,
and thus opportunities for new services can be explored. This, finally, leads to fostering Service Inno-
vation in service firms (Heinonen and Medberg, 2018). A closer look at using data mining techniques
for identifying customer needs for future Service Innovation is taken by Kuehl, Scheurenbrand and
Satzger (2016) and Okazaki et al. (2015). What Kuehl, Scheurenbrand and Satzger (2016) call
“Needmining” refers to making use of Twitter data to concertedly identify tweets that contain custom-
er needs, serving as a starting point for exploration towards Service Innovation. As this information is
accessible at zero or low cost, this poses an attractive possibility to extend the set of data-driven design
tools (Kuehl et al., 2016). By training an algorithm with 300 tweets about their case partner IKEA,
Okazaki et al. (2015) applied a data mining model on 4000 tweets to investigate the patterns of what
they call “electronic word of mouth” (Okazaki et al., 2015, p. 419) to directly reflect customer needs.
One step further, in the area of ideation, Chae (2015) applies descriptive analytics and content analyt-
ics, text mining, sentiment analysis, and network analytics on over 22,000 supply chain tweets to en-
hance supply chain research in general and provides the example of Starbucks using these kinds of
analytics for extracting customer ideas for new products and services.
Another sub research stream focuses on using other data sources for explorative DDSI, such as open
data (Stone and Aravopoulou, 2018) and service failure statistics (Herterich, Holler, Uebernickel and
Brenner, 2015). Stone and Aravopoulou (2018) conducted a case study with Transport for London
(TfL) to identify new service opportunities for London`s ageing population through the analysis of
Open Data. While this is kind of an open space approach, Herterich et al. (2015) put the focus on ex-
ploring new opportunities for Cyber-Physical Systems through learning from the failure statistics of
existing operations of a manufacturing company to identify inherent system needs, and thus generate
ideas for novel offerings in product-service systems.
Approaches being in a more nascent state but aiming at making exploration for Service Innovation
more data-driven are Kansei Engineering (Yeh and Chen, 2018), the use of Augmented Reality
(Ruvald, Frank, Johansson and Larsson, 2018), and digital twin-enabled service design (Zheng et al.,
2018). All of these approaches are enabled by the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), (Big) Data, and
Cyber-Physical Systems (C.-H. Lim et al., 2015b). Yeh and Chen (2018) extend the Kansei Engineer-
ing approach by utilizing data mining with decision trees to translate user perceptions into possible
design specifications. Leveraging Augmented Reality, Ruvald et al. (2018) investigated experiential
prototyping for gathering data in order to explore how to address the specificities of future hypothet-
ical usage scenarios in the construction industry. Similarly, Zheng et al. (2018) leverage the possibili-
ties of digital technologies to make use of data-driven digital twins, which serve as the basis for apply-
ing data mining techniques in order to identify hidden patterns for service opportunity exploration.
The examples from research within the explorative stream of DDSI described above all have the goal
to lay the foundation for exploring future opportunities for services or product-service-systems in a
data-driven manner, which then are developed towards the final market launch. However, the out-
comes of DDSI being triggered exploratively by data and analytics do not necessarily need to be so-
called data- and analytics-driven services, which use data as the main resource for the final value
proposition (Hartmann, Zaki, Feldmann and Neely, 2014; Engelbrecht, Gerlach, Widjaja, 2016; Hunke
and Engel, 2018). Final offerings could also be innovative, non-digital services.
4.2 Validative DDSI
The identified research stream on validative DDSI addresses the guidance of the service development
processes with data- and analytics-driven software tools with the goal to monitor the success and
stepwise process achievements towards final Service Innovation. The challenge arising in the context
of Service Innovation is that traditional metrics, such as revenue or profit, are zero in the fuzzy
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frontend of Service Innovation (Ries, 2011; Müller and Thoring, 2012). This leads to traditional mod-
els, such as cost-benefit analysis (Schumann and Narzt, 2013; Zolnowski, Anke and Gudat, 2017), and
advanced mathematical modelling, such as fuzzy set theory, Choquet integrals (Tseng, Lin, Lim and
Teehankee, 2015) and rough set theory (C. Lee, Lee, Seol and Park, 2012) in the course of multi-
criteria decision making, facing major difficulties for validating Service Innovation efforts. Digitaliza-
tion opens a wide spectrum of data-driven possibilities that enable companies to validate the likelihood
of success in their single steps towards Service Innovation more efficiently but most importantly more
effectively (Ruvald et al., 2018) and tailored to situations of deciding and developing at a high level of
uncertainty in the system. Van Riel et al. (2011) stress the importance of enriching validation results
with external data, which is enabled by the technical and socioeconomical advances of Information
and Communications Technology. Therefore, finding adequate proxies supported by the utilization of
modern data and analytics tools is approached to address this challenge in the research vein of valida-
tive DDSI. The scope of data-driven validation reaches from single service concepts (H. Lee, Kim and
Park, 2010; C. Lee et al., 2012; Ruvald et al., 2018) and service proposals (Van Riel et al., 2011) to
validating different options for designing service business models (Schumann and Narzt, 2013;
Zolnowski et al., 2017). All of these approaches aim at controlling and guiding the development pro-
cess towards a higher likelihood of successful Service Innovation. Representative examples from re-
search in the validative stream of DDSI are presented here to deepen the understanding of this stream:
Similarly to the explorative dimension of DDSI, one sub research stream of validative DDSI focuses
on the use of netnography, such as sentiment analysis, social network analysis, and Twitter analytics
using data mining algorithms (Malsbender et al., 2013; Okazaki et al., 2015; Tanev et al., 2015). In
distinction to the use of netnographic tools in the explorative DDSI dimension, the focus is on produc-
ing insights on how the “explored” ideas, service concepts, and business models might perform on the
market in terms of, for example, brand perception (Malsbender et al., 2013) or customer engagement
(Okazaki et al., 2015). Thereby these approaches intend to guide the concrete development process,
which contains prototyping and testing until the market is entered with a certain business model,
which finalizes the Service Innovation process.
Another sub research stream in this dimension of DDSI focuses on the use of simulations for valida-
tive DDSI: Susha, Grönlund and Janssen (2015) suggest to use Open Data sources to simulate possible
startup ideas concerning their viability. Diving deeper into simulation, Wrasse, Hayka and Stark
(2015) develop an agent-based simulation model to validate innovation projects for product-service
systems in order to prevent them from failing in the piloting stage due to a lack of insufficient valida-
tion. They point out the advantages of agent-based simulation as already functioning with little quanti-
tative data and having a dedicated focus on the individual system entities (Wrasse et al., 2015).
Finally, this research stream also addresses hardware-supported validative DDSI: For instance, Mobile
Ethnography (Muskat, Muskat, Zehrer and Johns, 2013) and Augmented Reality (Ruvald et al., 2018)
as hardware support for gathering data points on service concept testing and validation are researched
in the validative dimension of DDSI. Muskat et al. (2013) use mobile ethnography to test Service In-
novations aiming at addressing the Generation Y in the context of museum experiences. Ruvald et al.
(2018) leverage Augmented Reality in order to investigate the interactions between human and robot
by gathering data points in a scaled down model of a construction site by applying data mining tech-
niques to drive the development of product-service systems.
Wrapping validative DDSI up: when traditional metrics are zero, the research approaches in the vein
of validative DDSI presented above ultimately aim at supporting business intelligence for guiding
Service Innovation endeavors towards success (Tanev et al., 2015). However, analogously to explora-
tive DDSI, the final service developed for the customer does not necessarily need to rely on data in the
service delivery phase.
4.3 Generative DDSI
While the research streams of explorative and validative DDSI do not necessarily incorporate a final
service outcome, which relies on data for service delivery, generative DDSI focuses on data as a key
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resource for value creation directed towards the customer. For example, user-generated (big) data
(Trabucchi et al., 2018) is gathered using so-called device mesh or mesh apps to predict future cus-
tomer needs, and thus offer tailored experiences (Hsiao, 2018). Crowdsensing enabled by a network of
smartphones can process decentralized traffic information, and thus enable traffic optimization under
time, safety, and sustainability aspects (Heiskala, Jokinen and Tinnilä, 2016). Furthermore, predictive
maintenance solutions based on machine operations data are offered as value-added services on top of
the machines themselves (Porter and Heppelmann, 2014; Pagalday et al., 2018). These are only some
examples of so-called data- and analytics-driven services. Around the core of creating customer value
from data and analytics, several research streams have evolved investigating the value creation and
capturing mechanisms that enable the value extraction from data (Hunke and Engel, 2018). These da-
ta- and analytics-driven offerings can be stand-alone solutions or wrapped around existing products or
services (Schüritz, Seebacher, Satzger and Schwarz, 2017). Thereby, data and analytics act as genera-
tive technologies that are the key resources required for offering the service (Herterich et al., 2015;
Troilo et al., 2017). Consequently, data is viewed as a key operant resource for co-creating value
(Herterich, Eck and Uebernickel, 2016). A brief summary of the research veins in the generative DDSI
dimension is provided here:
One sub stream of research within generative DDSI focuses on capabilities that need to be acquired
and operated to provide data-based offerings. For instance, researchers have developed process
frameworks (C.-H. Lim et al., 2015a), taxonomies (Püschel, Röglinger and Schlott, 2016; C. Lim et
al., 2018; Rizk, Bergvall-Kåreborn and Elragal, 2018) or adapted classic tools, such as service blue-
printing and personas (O’Flaherty, Pope, Thornton and Woodworth, 2013), to support capability build-
ing on a tool-level, and thus enable practitioners to design data- and analytics-driven services. Besides
capabilities on a tool-level, organizational capabilities, which are needed to offer data- and analytics-
driven services, are in the focus of research. For instance, Schüritz, Brand, et al. (2017) elaborate on
how to embed analytics capabilities within organizations in a structured way by introducing the con-
cept of analytics competency centers as well as their types and their design. Bilgeri, Wortmann and
Fleisch (2017) identify organizational archetypes through 16 in-depth interviews and elaborate under
which conditions which archetype is recommended for providing data-enriched offerings.
As these analytics capabilities need to be leveraged and deployed in the market to be visible to the
world and to be “exploited” for commercial profit, the second sub research stream focuses on concep-
tualizing, distinguishing, transforming, and developing adequate business models for commercializing
and monetizing value creation based on data. Researchers treat data as the key resource of business
model analysis that is needed to deliver a value proposition to the customer (Kühne and Böhmann,
2018) and view business models as an enabler of DDSI (Zolnowski et al., 2017). Research is conduct-
ed on a macrolevel including, for example, identifying business model archetypes for data- and analyt-
ics-driven services (Remane, Hildebrandt, Hanelt and Kolbe, 2016; Naous, Schwarz and Legner,
2017; Schmidt, Drews and Schirmer, 2018), and, on a more detailed business model component level,
such as analyzing possible revenue models for data- and analytics-driven services (Schüritz, Seebacher
and Dorner, 2017).
The concept of business models is used to leverage data and analytics capabilities in their particular
service ecosystems. Thus, research on generative DDSI is also conducted from an ecosystem perspec-
tive. Exemplary service ecosystem research endeavors investigate the generative role of data for ser-
vice, following the Open Innovation Paradigm (Trabucchi et al., 2018), or applying a market-based
view, for example, in the case of primary personal information markets (Farrelly and Chew, 2017).
The ecosystem perspective on generative DDSI is also applied on the intensely discussed phenomenon
of IoT as an instantiation of data-driven ecosystems (Lokshina et al., 2017). Finally, research on Open
Data as part of a bigger ecosystem of public and private services and the involved actors is viewed as
being a catalyzing factor for Service Innovation (Maccani, Donnellan and Helfert, 2015b, 2015a,
2017). For instance, research explores how new data- and analytics-driven services are built on the
foundation of Open data to deliver public and commercial value (Kuk and Davies, 2011; Rohunen,
Markkula, Heikkilä and Heikkilä, 2014; Susha et al., 2015) such as public transportation that leverages
Open Data for service advancement (Stone and Aravopoulou, 2018).
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5 Discussion and Development of a Research Agenda
We aim to discuss the contributions of the Systematic Literature Review in this section and provide a
research agenda that is positioned in the three-dimensional research space of DDSI.
Each of the research streams explorative, validative, and generative DDSI identified in the SLR
exists by itself but is loosely coupled to the other streams. The Venn diagram presented earlier in Fig-
ure 2 shows the number of papers forming the particular research streams and their numerical overlap.
This visualizes that a subset of the analyzed papers has been found to apply two or more of the three
identified research lenses, which underlines the necessity to sharply distinguish the research streams
from each other while simultaneously elaborating on their interrelations in a structured way.
By presenting the three-dimensional framework of DDSI and distinguishing its constituting dimen-
sions, we intend to contribute to structuring the field of DDSI. This is particularly important for rela-
tively young research areas such as DDSI in order to create an integrated conceptualization and syn-
thesis of representative literature on which future research work can build (Torraco, 2005). The identi-
fied dimensions of DDSI can be used to visualize a possible research space of DDSI.
Figure 4 shows how researchers can position their existing and future research in the multidimensional
research space of DDSI to reach a clearly distinguished and well-positioned contribution which does
not lie somewhere in the fuzzy middle of the research space without a clearly defined research per-
spective on the topic of DDSI. On the other hand, for instance, this conceptualization can help re-
searchers to conduct more effective and efficient SLRs in the field of DDSI by enabling them to clear-
ly shape their search queries, and thus defining the search scope in a concise manner.
In the generative DDSI dimension, data and analytics play a vital role for the actual delivery of the
service. As this dimension has gained increasing popularity during the last years, some researchers
might argue that this is the only dimension relevant to modern DDSI and that the other two are tradi-
tional decision support systems. We disagree with this view, as DDSI is about “driving” Service Inno-
vation by using data and analytics. Thus, this includes integrating the Service Innovation process steps
before the actual service delivery through embedding data and analytics in exploration and validation
of Service Innovation endeavors. This goes along with research calls demanding a more integrated
approach for driving Service Innovation (Meuris, Herzog, Bender and Sadek, 2014; Ostrom et al.,
2015). Logically, this can lead to better Service Innovation outcomes, which can lead to better data-
driven tools, which in turn improve the outcomes by leveraging data and analytics. This upwards spi-
raling effect bears immense potential, whereas a concise distinction between the dimensions is essen-
tial to foster these positive effects on Service Innovation by making use of data and analytics.
Figure 4. Research space of DDSI
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Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 12
However, there is still a long road to travel in each of the identified research dimensions of DDSI and
their particular hybrids. Building up on the insights gained from the SLR and the conceptualization
process of the multidimensional DDSI framework, a research agenda is proposed here, aiming at trig-
gering a fruitful discussion and further research in the field of DDSI. The single agenda points (I-VII)
are structured along the possible spots in the research space of DDSI visualized in Figure 4 but do not
aim at being collectively exhaustive. Rather, this shall pose an example of how researchers can use the
three-dimensional framework of explorative, validative and generative DDSI to position existing and
future research on advancing services and Service Innovation in a data-driven manner:
I Explorative DDSI: Despite the advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), a
need for enriching the set of data-driven exploration tools for Service Innovation can be observed
within existing literature (Seidelin et al., 2017). Facing this research need, it should be further ex-
plored how modern technology, in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), (Big) Data, and Cyber-
Physical systems, can be used to create new data infusion channels for explorative DDSI and which
organizational capabilities need to be developed to leverage them. For instance, emerging approaches
being in a nascent state such as Kansei Engineering (Yeh and Chen, 2018), the use of Augmented Re-
ality (Ruvald et al., 2018), and digital twin-enabled service design (Zheng et al., 2018) can be starting
points for further research.
II Validative DDSI: Our SLR revealed that identifying adequate proxy variables in order to measure
the success of the single steps towards Service Innovation is challenging and quite narrow in literature
(Ries, 2011; Müller and Thoring, 2012). Eric Ries, the inventor of the lean startup approach, refers to
what he calls “Innovation Accounting” in a similar manner as validative DDSI. Analogously, the chal-
lenge arising in the context of Service Innovation is that traditional metrics, such as revenue or profit,
are zero in the fuzzy frontend of Service Innovation (Ries, 2011; Müller and Thoring, 2012). There-
fore, future research could try to extend the set of adequate proxy variables and test their usability, for
instance, by applying action research. In addition, structural guidance on how to design and implement
validative DDSI in organizations should be offered by research.
III Generative DDSI: We found the value of data to be mostly operationalized through the custom-
ers’ willingness-to-pay in market-driven approaches (Farrelly and Chew, 2017). Building up on this
context-driven view, it could be beneficial for theorizing on the value of data to study its underlying,
static, and inherent determinants to extend the body of knowledge on the use of data as a resource in
business models and its allocation in service ecosystems.
IV Generative-Explorative DDSI: The potential of so-called user-generated (big) data for Service
Innovation is undoubted but research on how to approach it in a structured manner is still in a nascent
stage (Trabucchi et al., 2018). Thus, the organizational and technical capabilities for closing the circle
of using data for delivering and using data for exploring new (data-driven) service opportunities
should be investigated and systematized in future research efforts of DDSI to bridge this gap. From a
technical perspective, the necessary interface designs could be explored. Furthermore, distinct options
of organizational embedment in different contexts such as the different types of analytics competency
centers (Schüritz, Brand, Satzger, et al., 2017) seems to be a promising research vein.
V Generative-Validative DDSI: So far, there is very little research investigating the generative-
validative intersection of DDSI. For instance, exploring analogy-based validation models based on
generative DDSI sources in order to make inferences about how another (data-driven) service will per-
form could benefit the field of DDSI. This goes along with the idea of so-called Transfer Learning
where machine learning-generated insights in one particular context are applied in other contexts or
problem spaces (Pan and Yang, 2010). For instance, gathering data on the performance of one particu-
lar service in its usage environment and transferring the learnings on a service which is yet to be de-
veloped for another context could be one future research avenue in this stream.
VI Explorative-Validative DDSI: Merely exploring needs or ideas does not constitute value per se,
as they need to be translated into actual innovation (Kuehl et al., 2016). At the intersection of explora-
tive and validative DDSI, it should be identified how exploration results can be translated into devel-
opment steps towards Service Innovation in a data-driven manner. For instance, combining explorative
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Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 13
approaches such as Needmining suggested by Kuehl et al. (2016) with business model-oriented ap-
proaches such as Value Proposition Mining suggested by Augenstein, Fleig and Dellermann (2018)
could help operationalize the abstract concepts of needs and ideas towards actionable insights.
VII Fully-Integrated DDSI: To the best of our knowledge, gathered in this SLR, there does not exist
a fully-integrated research and process model, interlinking the data integration from early to late stages
of Service Innovation, and thus pursuing a hybrid of explorative, validative, and generative DDSI.
Identifying potential interfaces for connecting the dimensions and deducting required organizational
capabilities and design approaches towards it could be a promising research avenue. This goes along
with the service research priorities identified by Ostrom et al. (2015) where the priority of using (big)
data for advancing service shows the biggest gap between its importance and the existing knowledge
base in the field.
In sum, these seven emerging agenda points could serve as a first foundation for a more unified study
of DDSI.
6 Limitations
Despite our attempt to rigorously analyze the identified literature on DDSI, this SLR comes with sev-
eral limitations. First, the scope of the SLR is not fully exhaustive. However, we tried to encompass a
broad spectrum of research on DDSI by choosing a database-oriented search over a journal-based
search. This allowed us to include more recent conference proceedings as well, which is necessary
when a topic is young and emerging. Furthermore, the selection of relevant papers is a process that
comprises subjective judgement. Even though we tried to define and follow concise unified selection
criteria to eliminate potential subjective bias as far as possible, a certain residuum always remains. We
restricted the initial keyword search on title, abstract, and keywords to ensure that the search terms
appear close to each other in the text, as we were interested in the interplay of data and Service Inno-
vation as one field. Thus, the amount of information initially screened was limited, but we thoroughly
analyzed the papers resulting from the initial screening in a full-text analysis using a concept matrix.
Furthermore, future work building up or extending our analysis could supplement and substantiate our
results by enriching them with additional bibliographic information such as citation networks investi-
gating the loose coupling of the three research streams.
7 Conclusion
In this paper, we conducted a literature review to investigate the use of data in Service Innovation,
which constitutes the field of Data-Driven Service Innovation (DDSI). Overall, the SLR revealed three
main research perspectives, which span the multidimensional research field of DDSI: Explorative
DDSI, validative DDSI, and generative DDSI. We refer to explorative DDSI as the use of data and
analytics for discovering opportunities, such as needs, trends or ideas, for new or advanced services or
product-service-systems of any kind. Validative DDSI comprises the guidance of the service develop-
ment processes with data- and analytics-driven software tools with the goal to monitor the success and
stepwise process achievements towards final Service Innovation. While explorative and validative
DDSI do not necessarily incorporate a final service outcome which relies on data for service delivery,
generative DDSI focuses on data as a key resource for value creation directed towards the customer.
Overall, this SLR contributes to the existing literature by providing a theoretical framework of the op-
erant role of data analytics for Service Innovation. This framework provides three unified lenses,
which researchers can use to describe and locate their existing and future research endeavors in this
ample field. Structured within this three-dimensional research space of DDSI, a research agenda for
DDSI is proposed in order to trigger and guide further discussions and future research. By compiling
and elaborating on this agenda, we hope to pave the way for a more thorough conceptual convergence
in the field and future research breakthroughs.
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Twenty-Seventh European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS2019), Stockholm-Uppsala, Sweden. 14
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