Big Data and Organizational Design: Key Challenges Await the Survey Research Firm

Tim J. Gabel, Cathy Tokarski


Digital data is everywhere, and its ubiquity is causing profound changes in our personal lives and in the functions of government, business, and academia. Organizations of all sizes and purposes are seeking to take advantage of the big data tsunami and the opportunities it presents. RTI International, a non-profit U.S. research organization, draws more than 80 percent of its $760 million in annual revenues from competitive grants and contracts funded by the U.S. government. The organization is rich in talent and expertise but not currently aligned in a way that meets big data’s challenges. To thrive in this rapidly changing environment, RTI must determine how to seize opportunities big data presents, survive the threats posed by big data, and offer its clients expanded services. How well RTI responds to these challenges will determine its role in the search for solutions to the major social and scientific problems of our day.


Big data; RTI International; survey research; data science; big data workforce

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ISSN: 2245-408X

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