Business ecosystems are gaining more relevance both in research and in practice. The analysis of business ecosystems is thereby a data intense process. To better understand the current state-of-the-practice within enterprises addressing the analysis of business ecosystem we conducted an online survey asking participants about their division of labor, collection, documentation and processing of business ecosystem related data. 52 experts from mainly German based companies completed the questionnaire stating, inter alia, that the main data sources in use are internal company information sources and online search engines, and additionally that the time-consuming process of collecting and documenting business ecosystem related information is perceived as a major challenge in the context of business ecosystem analysis.
Enterprises develop, produce, and distribute their products and services nowadays in complex and increasingly digital business ecosystems consisting of business partners, suppliers, competitors, start-ups, public institutions, and costumers. These business ecosystems exhibit a high dynamic: new actors enter and leave the ecosystem continuously. Thus, for enterprise business and IT strategy the knowledge about and active design of the business ecosystems are gaining more relevance. Various stakeholders within the enterprise need to collaborate to achieve a holistic understanding of the ecosystem, all with different requirements towards the ecosystem model. As visualizations have proven to support stakeholders in fulfilling their ecosystem related tasks, the aim of this research project is the modeling and visualizing of business ecosystems addressing the identified challenges.