This paper aims at exploring how corporate members involved in integrated re-port (IR) preparation assess the reliability of Big Data as a new source of infor-mation. It investigates IR preparation within a company operating in the Italian banking industry that has adopted Big Data since 2015. Using the epistemic au-thority lens (Kruglanski et al., 2005), this study reveals how corporate members draw mainly on their professional background and the Big Data-related initiatives to define the extent to which Big Data contributes to IR preparation, with educa-tional background and corporate circumstances playing a less incisive part. Con-structing performance indicators, identifying prospective information to contrast criminal phenomena and lending support to relational sustainability all act as in-formational and motivational factors that lead members to rely on Big Data while preparing the IR. The paper contributes to the infant literature on Big Data in cor-porate reporting by offering early practical insights into how Big Data informs IR preparation. It also provides evidence of a necessary intertwining between ac-counting-based knowledge and training initiatives on advanced analytics to fully exploit Big Data in IR preparation.
Keywords: Integrated reporting, Big Data, epistemic authority, bank.
Jel Code: M14; M41