Big Data is for everybody. It’s Data Driven Innovation!

Big data can make us stay competitive, to retain and create jobs in the Baltic Sea Region. The challenge is to be first movers in new innovations

Talent recruitment, education, and e-health are some exemplary areas with a high potential for cross-border cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region

Big Data needs story telling!

These were some of the key messages at the conference “The Big Data Revolution – Regional Growth and Business Opportunities” organized by BDF on 19 Nov 2013 in cooperation with Danish Agency of Business & Growth and Danish Design Center. Aalborg University Campus Copenhagen, the former headquarter of Nokia Denmark, was a modern and perfect framing of the ICT event.

The conference had its focus on the potential of Big Data in the Baltic Sea Region as one of the globally leading areas regarding ICT and the digital economy. The conference was an appetizer, meant to increase awareness of the growth potential of Big Data and the opportunities that lie in front of us:

•How to make business out of Big Data? How can Big Data boost regional growth and competitiveness? What kind of innovations comes out of giving small, adaptable entrepreneurs free access to data? What happens when we combine creative intelligence with data and social engineering across sectors and disciplines?

Cases and stories from web-entrepreneurs, creative industries and other parts of business life were introduced, showing examples of Big Data as an enabler and potential growth-driver:

•What have first movers done? What needs to be done? Can Denmark or the Baltic Sea Region become a test lab for innovative web-entrepreneurs? What are the experiences in our neighboring countries? Should we develop a joint Big Data strategy?

The conference was attended by almost 100 participants, representing enterprises, creative industries, researchers, students, organisations, policy makers etc.

Big Data, business and innovation

The message during the conference from most of the speakers was clear– we need a more business orientated look on data. Technology is there, advanced analytics are there, but business has not yet learned how to use the existing technology for growth opportunities. We have the tools to go from data resolution to information revolution, but the challenge is what to do with this data. This is where design and creative industries come in and can offer solutions how to use this abundance of data in innovative ways. If we do not use big data and innovate our products, our products will be thrown off the global shelves.

 Open Data: Opportunities and challenges

Big data is not only aimed at private enterprises. Public sector is sitting on a gold mine and has a lot of potential to move in on the big data phenomena. Governments in the Baltic Sea Region can promote business growth by providing incentives for data driven innovations.

It was also discussed whether public data should be set free for public use. Do all new business ideas need to have privacy protected solutions? There was some disagreement on this questions among speakers. Some argued that all data should be released in order to boost innovation and business opportunities. Others warned against sharing of personal data as there should be general limits in order to protect privacy. In this new digital era the perception of privacy has changed and a balance between privacy and anonymity needs to be found.

The privacy debate also touched upon the European perspective as EU is on its way with a regulative framework, discussing a new data protection regulation. The framework is still underway and there is room to make changes in order to optimize its effectiveness.

Cross border cooperation on Big Data

The Baltic Sea Region has the potential to become a model for cross-regional cooperation when it comes to using big data for business growth.

The health sector offers a huge opportunity for business and innovative solutions. There is a lot of potential for cross-border scientific research and data sharing.

Data driven education and educational policy has also been ignored in most data debates in the Baltic Sea Region. The US is already taking a lead on this opportunity and in order to stay competitive, the Baltic Sea Region should find ways to collaborate across borders when it comes to innovative educational policies.

The main challenge when it comes to finding big data opportunities is talent shortage. There is a huge need for talented workforce that can handle the scale of big data and analyze it. It is absolutely crucial to work together regionally in order to balance the demand and supply of a talented workforce.

Data could is the new gold, but there is still a long way to go in order to capture its full potential. The Baltic Sea Region could become a leader in this process.

Download selected presentations:

Stig Torngaard Hammeken

Indrek Vainu

Brian Vinter

Joakim Lundblad