Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

What can big data do for you ?

Big data presents great opportunities as they help us develop new creative products and services, for example apps on mobile phones or business intelligence products for companies. It can boost growth and jobs in Europe, but also improve the quality of life of Europeans.

Here are some examples of research projects that can help you in your daily life.

Healthcare: saving lives with better diagnosis

A widespread use of big data in the health sector can help doctors make the right choices more quickly, on the basis of information collected by other medical staff. Patients can benefit from more timely and appropriate treatments and be better informed about health care providers. An increased use of data analysis in the health sector can also lead to enormous cost savings through a more precise identification of unnecessary procedures or duplication of tests. The analysis of large clinical datasets can result in the optimisation of the clinical and cost effectiveness of new drugs and treatments.


  • EU-funded ICT tool to help patients with brain trauma (TBICARE)
  • A healthier daily life with the DAPHNE platform (DAPHNE)
  • Advancing medical research through cutting edge technologies (Linked2Safety)

Transport: fewer accidents and traffic jams

The transport sector can clearly benefit from big data collected through sensors, GPS data and social media in particular. A smart use of big data supports governments in optimising multimodal transport and managing traffic flows, making our cities smarter. Citizens and companies can save time through the use of route planning support systems.


  • Fighting road congestion (VIAJEO)
  • Making fleet management cheap and easy for SMEs (SimpleFleet)

Environment: reduced energy consumption

The big data revolution brings about novel ways of understanding and addressing environmental challenges. A better use of globally available national and local datasets helps scientists in their research and enables policy-makers to make informed and evidence-based decisions to fight against climate change and reduce costs. Smart cities also host data centres adapting the power consumption of public buildings to the availability of renewable energy and other useful indicators. At the same time, our mobiles devices become smarter by integrating analytical tools to reduce our energy consumption and save money.


  • Wind farms at the best place (Sopcawind)
  • Environmentally-friendly data centres (DC4Cities)

Agrculture: safer food and increased productivitiy

A smart use of big data in agriculture can increase productivity, food security and farmer incomes at the same time. Through an intelligent and widespread use of data coming from sensors the ways we are farming today can be changed entirely for the better. This can lead to a more efficient use of natural resources (including water or sunlight) in our farming practices. With advanced technologies farmers can have access to data in real time on how their farm machinery is working as well as to historic weather patterns, topography and crop performance.


Manufacturing and retail: optimised processes for safer and personalised products

Big data means the optimisation of operations on a real-time basis for the manufacturing industry. Key benefits of using big data analytics include boosting product quality through improved defect tracking, better manufacturing processes and optimised supply tracking. Big data enables the timely and appropriate delivery of products for consumers and more efficient processes, with cost savings, for business. With big data retail companies better know the needs and interests of costumers and, as a result, offer more personalised products.


  • Monitoring the whole product lifecycle (LinkedDesign)
  • Improving the efficiency and quality of the product development process (iprod)

And much more

  • Video message of European Commission former Vice-President Neelie Kroes on big data.
  • Discover European SMEs involved in the big data business
  • Find out more about BIG, the Big Data Public Private Forum. Building an industrial community around big data in Europe is the priority of this initiative, together with setting up the necessary collaboration and dissemination infrastructure to link technology suppliers, integrators and leading user organisations.
Last updated on 24/02/2016 - 17:07