Data forms a key pillar in 21st century sources of growth. The confluence of several trends, including the increasing migration of socio-economic activities to the Internet and the decline in the cost of data collection, storage and processing, are leading to the generation and use of huge volumes of data – commonly referred to as “big data”. These large data sets are becoming a core asset in the economy, fostering new industries, processes and products and creating significant competitive advantages.For instance:
- In business, data exploitation promises to create value in a variety of operations, from the optimisation of value chains in global manufacturing and services more efficient use of labour and tailored customer relationships.
- The adoption of ‘smart-grid’ technologies is generating large volumes of data on energy and resource consumption patterns that can be exploited to improve energy and resource efficiency.
- The public sector is also an important data user but also a key source of data. Greater access to and more effective use of public-sector information (PSI), as called for by the 2008 OECD Council Recommendation on PSI, can generate benefits across the economy.
Greater access and use of data creates a wide array of policy issues, such as privacy and consumer protection, open data access, skills and employment, and measurement to name a few.