Big data is a popular buzzword in many industries today. As more data about consumers and citizens become available due to ever advancing digital technologies, learning how to effectively collect, sort, interpret, and use big data becomes an urgent task and capability for many companies. However, big data is still a group of numbers that professionals must manipulate in order to make sense of it all, which then can be used for particular purposes. This study sought to examine the ramifications of the explosion of big data in advertising through interviews with eleven decision makers in the advertising industry. Four themes emerged from these interviews: Great(er) Expectations, Overworked and Insecure, Humans vs. Machines, and What is "Big Data" Anyway? Implications of these experiences were examined. Through in-depth interviews with professionals managing big data every day, results contribute to the advertising literature by bringing a greater understanding of big data's implications and possible societal and cultural impacts.

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Launched on MUSE
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