Data is rapidly becoming the lifeblood of the global economy. It represents a key new type of economic asset. Those that know how to use it have a decisive competitive advantage in this interconnected world, through raising performance, offering more user-centric products and services, fostering innovation – often leaving decades-old competitors behind.
As the world stands on the cusp of major new breakthrough technologies – Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, robotics – advanced economies can reap significant benefits from embracing the data revolution.
Recent research shows that even limited use of big data analytics solutions by the top 100 EU manufacturers could boost EU economic growth by an additional 1.9% by 2020.
And it is not only the manufacturing industry that stands to gain. Data analytics will soon be indispensable to any economic activity and decision-making process, both public and private.
The transition towards a data-driven economy in Europe is trailing, with market players and public authorities reluctant or simply unable to grasp new realities. To build a thriving data economy, Europe needs to dispel perceived uncertainties and overcome fragmented national environments. A sensible balance should be struck between data protection and consumer rights, on the one hand, and economic benefits and innovation on the other.