SOCIETY | Feb 6, 2018

Dear datum, just how much are you worth to me?

IDC says revenue from the data industry set to reach 92 million euros in Europe in 2020

The availability of digital data grows exponentially together with what a study on “The data economy – Market trends and policy perspectives” recently carried by ITMedia Consulting with the scientific contribution of the Bocconi University’s ASK Research Center – called “the ability of institutions, businesses and individuals to datify reality, that is to have representations of human events and behavior that are already digital when born”.

As the data available grow, the processing capacity of machines and the possibility of storing and keeping information increase; in other words, the value of the datum and the economy based on it rises.

To what extent is the data-based economy growing?

The data market, or the revenue from the data industry, according to IDC, has an overall value for Europe which exceeded 62 million euros in 2016 but is set to reach 91.8 million in 2020 (taking into account the neutral scenario drawn by IDC, with a pessimistic-optimistic range that runs from 74.1 to 130.7 million euros).

In Italy, the value of data, which reached 4.7 billion euros in 2016, will reach 7.5 billion by 2020 (taking into account the neutral scenario, with a pessimistic-optimistic fork ranging from 5.7 to 11.7). Italy lies fourth in Europe, behind the United Kingdom (20.4 million euros), Germany (19.5) and France (11.9), with a market that will rise by 12.2% in percentage terms between now and 2020, compared with an average European growth of 10.9%.

The countries for which faster growth in percentage terms of the data economy is expected between now and 2020 include Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Croatia, with percentages that are around or exceed 20%.

Why so much value in data?

As the ITMedia Consulting report explains, “the datum represents the engine of transformation in the digital economy and that is why it is considered the lubricant of the new economy”.

Thanks to the availability of a huge amount of data (around 2.5 exabytes are produced every day) and new tools useful for analyzing them within the new digital ecosystem, it is possible, for example, to “customize research, product/service or advertising, completely revolutionizing marketing strategies and business in general”.

However, the same study warns, for data to generate value there must be a guarantee of the best performances that allow the making of quick decisions based on analyses carried out at a speed equal to that – lightning speed – which characterizes the flow of information in di Enterprise Information Management.

Technologies, platforms and innovative systems such as Cloud Computing, IoT, Blockchain, AI, Augmented Reality, 3D printing and 5G are to be considered, according to the same report, the new enabling tools of the digital economy.