According to the study "Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services, 2012–2015 Forecast" conducted by IDC, big data technology and services are expected to grow worldwide at a compound annual growth rate of 40% – about seven times that of the ICT market overall.
Another recent study on "Big Data Analytics: An assessment of demand for labour and skills, 2012-2017", conducted by e-skills uk and SAS, predicts that in the UK alone, the number of big data staff specialist working in large firms will increase by more than 240% over the next five years.
This global trend holds enormous potential in various fields, ranging from health, food security, climate and resource efficiency to energy, intelligent transport systems and smart cities, which Europe cannot afford to miss.
To be able to seize these opportunities and compete globally in the data economy, the EU will:
The strategy outlined above will rely on a coordinated action plan involving Member States and the EU so as to guarantee the necessary scope and scale of the activities. The envisaged actions will result in:
The current strategy builds upon the ideas first formulated by Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes in a strategic initiative on the data value chain, which was launched in the ICT2013 conference in Vilnius in November 2013. This initiative focused on nurturing a coherent European data ecosystem that will stimulate research and innovation around data and the uptake of data services and products.