• Post category:Articles
  • Post published:29.2.2024

TOP 4 you need to know about data economy and location data 

The data economy refers to the activities of businesses that involve the processing, sharing and use of data for economic benefit. Giants of the data economy in terms of location data include Google and Open Street Map, whose map services provide the same type of data around the world.

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Feeling lost in the world of the data economy? Let us guide you! In this article you'll find four points to consider if you want to benefit from the opportunities offered by the data economy.

“From a European perspective, we have been players in the data economy for a long time. For example, the production of data and APIs in a commonly agreed way has been forced by the framework provided by the INSPIRE Directive. This is an advantage for us, as our long experience has also shown us what needs to be solved to make the data economy work the way we want it to and generate real business benefits,” says Antti Jakobsson, Project Manager of the Location Innovation Hub.

A common European data strategy and the resulting regulation could fundamentally change the way companies can benefit from the opportunities offered by the data economy. Now is the time to get to grips with the demands of the data economy and consider how and when to get on board.

Four points to consider:

1. Understand the importance of data quality and interoperability

If data is not interoperable with other data, the data economy will not function. Interoperability is built on standardisation. Understand the requirements for interoperability before you take action.

Data quality is important for the data economy. However, the people who use the data may not understand quality very well and may not know how to demand it from the producer – and this often leads to problems. It is important to identify customer needs and the level of data quality that users require.

Pay attention to the metadata as well, as this increases the accessibility of the data. Metadata describes the data and contains information that is important to the user, such as temporal coverage, access restrictions and update cycles.

Young woman exploring maps and data visualisations on a computer.
It is important to understand your own data and decide what is important and what is not when integrating it.

2. Get out of your silo and explore the potential of data integration

Data integration is the process of transferring data from one system to another so that it remains usable in the system in which it ends up. Integration also involves combing data from different sources, processing the data and harmonising it to make it interoperable. If the job is done poorly, the data is unusable. A situation picture is a good example of the importance of well-designed data integration: if the picture used by the company’s employees contains incorrect and irrelevant data, it is not useful, but harmful.

One example concerns location data stored in different coordinate systems. The systems are suitable for different purposes, but do not necessarily work together as such. When transferring location data from one information system to another, it is necessary to ensure that the location data objects are correctly located.

It is important to understand your own data and decide what is important and what is not when integrating it. Especially when performing sophisticated analysis on large data sets, it is important to remember that the data must be modelled correctly from the start. Persistent identifiers allow objects to be found even when systems change.

3. Seeking growth in the European market

Despite the will, Europe has not yet been able to solve the interoperability challenges in a way that makes it easy to build a business around interoperable data in the region. The Location Innovation Hub helps businesses to see what is possible and how to overcome barriers. We offer services such as business guides and ETL advice.

Europe’s data spaces are now being built and location data will play a big role. If you need geospatial data from national actors, such as 3D buildings, roads or climate data, you can use the Location Europe platform to explore how your business could grow in Europe. Location Innovation Hub can also provide you with information on funding and project partnerships. 

4. Explore the regulatory and security framework

The European Data Strategy aims to make the EU an attractive, secure and dynamic data economy. It promises that the measures in the Data Strategy will make it easier for businesses of all sizes to operate and reduce the power of global giants in the data economy. The final outcome remains to be seen, but it is important to start thinking now about how EU regulation will affect your business and, in particular, what growth opportunities the future holds.

Among the Location Innovation Hub partners, CSC provides the space, training and support to handle large amounts of data. Changes in the security environment are forcing businesses to consider issues such as cyber security. The Location Innovation Hub also offers advice on cyber security.