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Modelling the European data economy

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EuDEco (Modelling the European data economy)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

Solid knowledge about the data economy and its development across the globe is limited. To be able to realize the economic potential of the data economy in a socially acceptable way, research and innovation must be complemented by a constructive dialog between companies, government bodies, academic institutions and citizens. The EuDEco project aims to contribute to the understanding of the European data economy and to facilitate such a stakeholder dialog. The overall objective is to help Europe establish a self-sustaining data market and thereby increase Europe’s global competitiveness.
The EuDEco model of the European data economy will not only provide the basis for the development of an observatory but also for the development of practical solutions and recommendations to deal with key barriers and challenges faced in the context of the data economy. Emphasis is put on the analysis of aspects including legal possibility, social acceptability, economic viability and technical feasibility of use cases, business models and value networks. Thereby, EuDEco aims to provide useful insights and instruments for both policy makers, who set the framework conditions for the European data economy, and leaders of companies, government bodies and academic institutions participating in the data economy.
EuDEco sees the European data economy as a complex adaptive system and strives intensively for the involvement of external stakeholders and experts in its activities.
The main result of the first year of the EuDEco project was a heuristic model of the European data economy. The refined model of the data economy is the main result of the second project year.
To make the development of the heuristic model possible, carrying out significant preparatory work was necessary. First, the research framework was refined to ensure congruence regarding research questions and goals among the partners involved and the three research perspectives taken. Afterwards, existing legal, socio-economic and technological framework conditions relevant for data reuse were identified and analysed, and case studies on existing initiatives and pilots for data reuse performed. At the same time, a User Expert Group, primarily consisting of representatives from related research projects, was established.
The results from the analysis of the framework conditions and the case studies were then integrated into a heuristic model of the data economy. The heuristic model consists of legal, socio-economic and technological propositions postulating relationships between selected complex adaptive system model elements. The propositions were complemented by a focussed discussion of the key terms used to describe the propositions. Within the scope of a workshop, the heuristic model was discussed. Towards the end of the first year of the project, the analysis and further development of the model started. The heuristic model was analysed from a legal, a socio-economic and a technological perspective.
The results of the analyses of the heuristic model were then integrated into a refined model of the data economy. The refined model consists of legal, socio-economic and technological propositions postulating relationships between complex adaptive system model elements. The propositions are either refinements of propositions from the heuristic model or entirely new propositions. Within the scope of a workshop, the refined model was discussed. Building upon the refined model, a set of preliminary recommendations targeting policy makers and data-economy actors was developed.
Towards the end of the second year of the project, the testing and further development of the refined model started. The testing consists of five to eight in-depth tests, in which it is investigated how well the model works as a tool for human experts to understand what’s happening in concrete settings as well as to provide assessments and advice related to actual challenges or plans for the future. It is planned to complement the in-depth tests with an online survey. Based on the analysis of the test results, which will be completed in the third year of the project, a final model of the European data economy will be developed.
The EuDEco project identifies and analyses opportunities and problems related to the data economy in general and data reuse in particular. A thorough understanding of the opportunities and problems is a prerequisite to be able to support the uptake of big data and open data in Europe. The work carried out by the EuDEco consortium supports the achieving of:
(1) Enhanced access to and value generation from data in Europe.
(2) A robust ecosystem for data reuse in Europe.
(3) Increased deployment of big data solutions by European companies.
In the first year of the project, the framework conditions for data reuse and a self-sustaining data market in Europe were analysed. The analysis did not only concentrate on existing literature but also took the opinions of external experts and stakeholders into account. Extensive discussions with external experts and stakeholders took place at several events. Moreover, a series of cases was studied in detail. Both the analysis of framework conditions and the case studies took a legal, a socio-economic and a technological perspective. Looking at clearly specified aspects of the data economy from different angles and integrating the individual insights into a coherent whole allowed gaining a thorough understanding that goes beyond the state-of-the-art in several respects. Building upon the results of the analysis of the framework conditions for data reuse and a self-sustaining data market in Europe, a heuristic model of the European data economy was developed. Again, opinions of external experts and stakeholders were taken into account.
In the second year of the project, the heuristic model was analysed in depth and, based on the results of the analysis, a refined model of the European data economy was developed. The analysis took a legal, a socio-economic and a technological perspective. Again, efforts were made to allow considering opinions of external experts and stakeholders. The propositions constituting the refined model were discussed with the User Expert Group and the Advisory Board. The refined model does not only go beyond the heuristic model in terms of breadth and depth but also tries to set new standards with respect to how it is communicated. Whereas the heuristic model was rather text-intensive, the refined model makes use of graphical illustrations. Moreover, to further improve the comprehensibility of the model, widely-known real-world examples were used to complement descriptions of key concepts. Finally, a Prezi presentation was developed to allow people interested in the model to explore it step-by-step in an interactive way. The refined model represents only the second of three iterations. Nevertheless, it already is an artefact that facilitates discussions about the data economy in general and data reuse in particular.
As a whole, the work carried out in the first two years of the EuDEco project did not only contribute to the understanding of the European data economy and facilitate the dialog between the relevant stakeholders but also helped to raise awareness in the big data and open data community and beyond for the open questions and controversial issues that are currently faced in the context of the European data economy.
Discussion table at project event in period 1
Booth at a BDVA Summit
Discussion table at project event in period 2
Mind map created at project event