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Data stream
Data stream

Source: Adobe Stock / envfx

Detecting cancer earlier, translating texts into any language within seconds or maintaining machines better – all this becomes possible with data. However, in order to be able to use the data for these purposes, you need to first have it and also in the right quality and format. Given the existing great data volumes, this is a major task. To address this challenge, the Federal Government has adopted the National Data Strategy. Data is the raw material of digitalization, and we have a huge wealth of data we want to tap, according to Federal Minister for Digital Dr Volker Wissing.

Making more data available

The new Data Strategy aims at allowing access to more data. To this end, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI) have developed a precise roadmap - for the first time including a clear timeframe. Several legislative proposals are to be implemented by the end of 2024. This includes the planned Mobility Data Act (in German), which aims to provide more and improved travel and transport infrastructure data on fair terms. Access to public data is to be facilitated for companies. At the same time, competitive framework conditions are needed, which will allow to effectively make private sector data available, too. This is the only way to create both innovation and added value for the common good. “To achieve this, we need a new, brave data culture that allows us to share data in order to develop data-based services from within the economy and the centre of society”, explained Minister Wissing.

Better data for greater benefit

The National Data Strategy’s second objective is to improve the data quality because often the amount of data is not the only problem. More data is generated today than ever before. The amount of data generated worldwide eevery day increased fiftyfold between 2010 and 2022. However, this data is not fully exploited at the moment. Roughly 80 percent of data generated by industry is currently not reused. Data that is not used is not available for digital innovations. This is true for both industrial and public data. “We want and have to change this”, assured Minister Wissing. Often this data is not used due to its bad quality. In addition, many times it cannot be found or accessed, it is incompatible or unusable for other reasons. For this, the National Data Strategy offers solutions: For example, it supports the application of international standards so that data can be reused as broadly as possible and without unnecessary obstacles.

Trust creates value

Data has the power to change our lives – but only if it is trustworthy. This is why one of our Data Strategy’s priorities is to strengthen the trust of the population in the use of data. Because only if data is handled responsibly can the opportunities of digitalization fully be exploited, for example better healthcare, which we can achieve through medical data from practice. A better data culture will also provide more opportunities to the scientific community. Particularly in large data sets, it can uncover new correlations and patterns that would not be apparent in small samples. Last but not least, the economy benefits, too. Efficient use of data can improve production processes and support employees. The public sector can also make better use of data in their administrations, for instance. This not only saves resources but makes everyday life easier for many people. If data is used in a smart way, civil society, economy, the scientific community and the public sector will all benefit. “The new Data Strategy is an important step in this direction”, said Volker Wissing..