Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Srini Ragothaman

Second Advisor

Bart Hanus

Third Advisor

Derek Franken


Consumer big data, valuation, auditing standards, accounting education

Subject Categories

Accounting | Business Analytics


Consumer big data is changing the traditional framework of business by providing an unprecedented amount of information regarding consumer behaviors. Technological advances of the twenty-first century have enabled businesses to collect these behaviors within automated processes. The ease of data creation has led to companies creating, storing, and analyzing voluminous subsets of data in order to achieve a higher degree of competitive advantage. These datasets not only derive value from the physical information technology systems that provides the storage and the ability of analysis, but also contains an intrinsic value that is rarely captured within traditional accounting methods. The unique subsets of attributes and analyses that companies are generating from their customer databases, produces the intrinsic value within consumer big data. However, the intangible aspects of consumer big data are not recognized within financial statements leading to understated assets. Undervaluation is one of many challenges that faces the widespread usage of consumer big data. Businesses may begin to implement consumer big data into their decision-making processes in order to stay competitive within the information age. As consumer big data’s usage increases, it will require changes to the current accounting framework with regards to: data system requirements, big data analytics, valuation of consumer data, auditing standards, and privacy regulations that protect consumers’ personal information.



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