The growth availability of big data is opening new perspectives for in-depth analysis of industrial dynamics. On one hand, we can access rich and detailed information on firms’ characteristics that are not recorded by traditional official statistics. On the other, we can capture the association structure (networks) among different agents and different levels comprised in an economic system – the firms themselves, but also consumers, financing entities and public institutions. We focus on those factors that act to propel or hinder firms’ growth – in terms of value creation (with implications on aggregate growth), creation and destruction of employment, and interactions between the real economy and the financial sector. We investigate sectorial and national dimensions, as well as international placement – with a particular emphasis on the complex transnational reorganization of value chains in investments, research and development, production and sales.