Published development or research report or study (D4)

A fair data-driven economy – The future of Europe

List of Authors: Saaristo Aino, Heikkilä Marikka

Publisher: University of Turku

Place: Turku

Publication year: 2022

Journal acronym: CCR Insights

Title of series: CCR Insights

Number in series: 2/2022

Issue number: 2

eISBN: 978-951-29-8958-4

ISSN: 2814-547X

eISSN: 2814-547X


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Data is expected to bring opportunities and economic growth as new business models for value creation are achieved through collecting and utilising more data more efficiently. At the same time, ethical and security concerns are being raised, and issues of data protection are discussed in the EU and globally. There is a need for a fair data economy that produces benefits for all stakeholders in society.

A Sitra 2021 survey asked 1200 European companies from four different countries about their attitudes and commitment to a fair data economy. This CCR Insights review focuses on questions regarding competitive edge in a data economy and business model changes. In addition to this, suitable conditions for a fair data-driven economy are examined.

Eighty per cent of those surveyed deemed that a data economy could possibly create a competitive edge for their company, and every fifth company had already created a competitive edge with data-based business. The companies operating in the B2G market along with micro companies were the least likely to think that a data economy could create a competitive edge. Even in these company clusters, however, a notable proportion thinks that a data economy has created or could create competitive edge.

The study provides evidence that data-based business requires significant changes to the business models of companies. More than 70% of the companies surveyed had made at least some changes in at least one area of their business model during the last two years, and the more interested they are in a data economy, the more significant the changes they have made to their business model. The survey also shows that the more into data-based business a company is, the better it implements fair data principles (privacy, ethical code of conduct, transparency, etc.) in their organisation.

The respondents viewed legal complexity, lack of competence in data-driven business models, lack of customer interest in data-based services and lack of technological competence as the biggest challenges to the creation of new data-based services.

Thus, this study provides encouraging evidence that a data economy could possibly create a competitive edge for European companies. This suggests that there will be vibrant competition both in European as well as global data economy markets, provided that companies are willing to take their chances and as long as legal, business, technical and societal conditions are met. This will ensure that citizens, businesses and governments all benefit from a fair European data economy.

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Last updated on 2022-05-10 at 17:11