The very first step in every creative development activity is to map the scene, to find out what is already available on the market and to define what we want to achieve with our product or service. EuDEco being a creative project, which has such ambitious goals as modelling the European data economy or establishing an observatory that measures the development of it, required also the investigation of the previous efforts made in this regard as well as the precise definition of the “playground”.

As a conclusion of the review of previous efforts we can state that there are not many previous and current efforts to model the data economy that are similar to EuDEco. Nevertheless, EuDEco can benefit from ongoing research initiatives and projects, which were collected at the end of this report.


Review of previous efforts

The review of related work on the data economy led to the conclusion that the private sector generates large amounts of data but does not necessarily see a benefit in making it available for data reuse. For stakeholders, to take advantage of the value of data sharing, strategies need to be developed that take, among other aspects, privacy, security and reliable storage of the increasing amount of data into account. EuDEco understands the data economy as a complex adaptive system (CAS). With respect to the CAS movement, it was found that systems from the biosphere to economies and to human social group-based endeavours have been investigated as CAS. In terms of research implications, the temporal, the spatial and the construct framing are affected by the application of the CAS approach. Considerable attention has been devoted, for instance, to public sector information. Additionally, approaches with respect to the visual representation of models of the data economy can provide a useful point of reference. With respect to observatories focusing on the data economy, it was found that the group of observatories directly related to big or linked data is particularly useful for EuDEco. They are helpful to understand the current situation as well as to make sure that the EuDEco observatory goes beyond the state of the art and becomes sustainable.


The EuDEco research framework and work plan

For the success of EuDEco, it is considered critical that the description is as flexible as needed but ensures at the same time that the consortium has a common understanding of the plans and activities.

With respect to the areas of the data economy particularly relevant for EuDEco, it is concluded that the project needs to restrain its focus in order to be successful. The two main options are to focus on the liveliest scientific areas (e.g., environment, health, climate) or on the sectors with the highest estimated economical value (e.g., manufacturing, finance/insurance). In EuDEco, the CAS approach is expected to support, among others, the understanding of the actors themselves, the relations and interactions between them, the development of value networks and their structure, the reaction of actors to their surroundings and the pursuit of goals, the selection of actions and the objects used by actors. The openness of the CAS approach allows describing relations that go beyond the classical economic understanding of vendor-buyer relations and take new incentives and motivations into account. It is planned to develop the EuDEco model of the European data economy in three iterations. The final model, which will be the result of the third iteration, is expected to be partially tested in various settings. An analysis of requirements and barriers is supposed to lay the foundation for the recommendations. As far as possible and reasonable, the three perspectives are integrated in order to make sure that a coherent set of complementary recommendations is created. Just as the recommendations, the observatory also builds upon the EuDEco model.


Download our report providing an overview of relevant previous and current effort in connection with modelling and monitoring the data economy in Europe.