Data economy calls for cooperation Today the driving force for growth in business is data. In addition to organisations and individuals, data economy affects national economies and competitiveness of economic areas. The estimated value of EU data economy represents around two per cent of the union’s GDP. If extensive development and policy measures are taken in the digital single market, it is expected to double by 2020.
Data production and usage are expanding rapidly. Digital footprint is generated by using devices and services as well as by data transfer in processes and interactions with others. Today connected and convenient services are created with data flows.
In terms of competitive markets, functionality of economies, equality and ethics, we need to take the discussion of the requirements for more balanced data economy to a new level.
But are we, especially as consumers, really aware of the role of data and its use in the value exchange of services – or even as a commodity in transactions with monetary value or as an input to artificial intelligence?
As we are moving towards a world enabled by automation and machine learning, data management will become an even more critical factor. It is not so much the amount of data that matters but ensuring its qualitative properties like usability and integrity as well as understanding its functionality and context to meet the needs for data usage. We need to ask ourselves: What kind of a world we want to build with data and AI?Europe falls behind on China and USA as global AI superpowers but computing power and money is not everything. Europe can claim place as a data and AI powerplant by building trust-based data business environment. High-level data protection is a strong asset for us. People value their privacy regardless in which jurisdiction they live in. Data management in companies need to comply and utilise this need for user data protection. MyData- model provides users with control over their data. Human-centric data management brings vast business opportunities to trusted organisations that can master personal data on behalf of users and companies for better services. There is plenty of data available, but it is often not applicable due to its form or location, or it could be firmly controlled by the device manufacturer, distribution platform or data registries, for example. However, the services will be more and more like a network of systems requiring boundary resources and data that company itself is not able to hold on its own. A successful data economy calls for new types of operating models based on data access and shared data. As a driving force of change, data is often paralleled with oil and electricity. But what if data could be seen as renewable energy with nearly endless supply and accessibility? European data economy can flourish only, if we act wisely in harnessing data with the help of technology, innovations – and most of all cooperation. At the moment, data exchange between parties that need data for business purposes is not frictionless. There may not yet be enough understanding about data value exchange, or the revenue models do not translate into joint operations well enough. European companies are not really providing data or application interfaces. However, when examining successful companies on a global scale, the winning strategy seems to be to open up application programming interfaces (API). Data is valuable but safeguarding data like expensive raw materials, such as oil, easily results in silo thinking, partial optimisation and outdated operating models. The new, disrupting operators see the weaknesses of this type of thinking as opportunities. It is, indeed, necessary for surfacing the EU data economy to set general principles for accessibility and interoperability of data, to form guidelines especially for b-to-b- data sharing and to establish data producer and user data rights that resonate with real life scenarios for example self-driving vehicles.