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資料經濟時代來臨 資料應用能力將左右國家產業競爭力 (2015-12-29 IEK產業情報網 )

Increasingly digitalization has resulted in the rapid growth in the variety and volume of data. A plethora of methods have been created to add value to data, evidenced by Big Data and Open Data. New jobs and experts such as Chief Data Officer and data scientists have emerged to give data new value as never before. All these factors contribute to the data economy.
In fact, value creation with data innovations and improvements is not an entirely new concept. In the data economy, there is a growing diversity of data sources. In addition to internal data within companies and organizations, the data from mobile devices, social media, government agencies and IoT (Internet-of-Things) has been growing in volume at a rapid pace. Forecasts by IDC suggest that the global digital data volume will increase from 1.2 zettabytes in 2010 to 40 zettabytes in 2020, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 40%.
With the expanding volume and complexity of data, it is necessary to organize and plan for the talents and technological tools required to add value and create economic benefits with data. Operational and management effectiveness, decision support and innovation are all centred on the operation of the data economy industry. Retailing is a good example. The transaction data across the supply chain, customer data, market data and even the data on social media can be integrated, analysed and introduced into marketing, customer management and operational management.
For example, Walmart uses Wi-Fi positioning and face detection and recognition system in different sections in the store to stay on top of their spending behavior and preferences. This assists in store design and product planning, enables accurate, real-time marketing and promotes sales and customer satisfaction. The NHS (National Health Service) in the UK analyzes big data in order to encourage doctors who prefer brand name drugs to prescribe generic drugs which serve the same medicinal purposes but at lower prices. This helps to reduce drug expenditure for the UK government.
The application of data mashup can create added value greater than previously imagined given the openness of data diversity, employment of technological tools combined with professional expertise. All industries are paying more attention to the value of data. As the data economy is all about the applicability and criticality of data, application service providers, who add value to data, emerge and sit between the data suppliers and the final consumers of data in the ecosystem of the data economy. Application developers and value-added service providers can utilize and add value to data by developing services for consumers.
In response to rapid industry developments, specialization is also increasing in the data economy. There is a mushrooming of enablers for data applications. They provide the professional services required for data processing by value-added service providers, such as platform providers, data brokers, analytics platform vendors, data visualization, crowdsourcing services and consultation services.
The demand in the data economy and competition in the marketplace have prompted the offering of a diversity of data services or value-added applications. Socrata, a US company focusing on deployment services in open data platforms for government agencies, has extended its reach to the development of application development interfaces, data visualization analysis and application marketplaces. Its signature product, GovStat, can integrate and update the data from different government agencies on a real-time basis. It also offers visual and bespoke graphs for analysis and enables interactions between the public and the government on the GovStat platform.
BigML, a big data forecasting & analytical firm, has constructed a machine learning platform for forecasting with a user-friendly visual interface on the Cloud. Users don’t need to purchase or install expensive packaged software or attempt to learn open source code. Rather, they can upload their own data to obtain forecasts. DataMarket’s platform collates and processes the rapidly growing volume of data for industries, organizations and governments. The services include visualized data analytics and usage. It also allows users to update and trade data.
Enablers provide value-added services by utilizing data, while the application service providers can develop services for end users by using the tools offered by enablers. It is applicable to all walks of life. The same data with different value-added applications creates different values and generates even more data. Data does not deplete in the way energy does. In fact, data utilization generates even more data, and this is why the data economy promises great business opportunities and economic benefits.
According to McKinsey & Company, open data can promote applications in education, transportation, consumer goods, electricity, oil & gas, healthcare and personal finance by creating US$3.2~4.5 trillion of economic value. Wikibon, a market research firm, estimates that the global market of big data and services will increase from US$18.4 billion in 2013 to US$48.5 billion in 2018. Out of this, the market value for applications and services will be approximately US$20.9 billion, accounting for 44% of the total, compared with 21% for software and 35% for hardware.
These numbers also highlight the lack of a robust mechanism for market value estimation of the data economy. All the estimates are based on partial economic data. This was why in 2013, the European Union began to define, evaluate and measure the data market, hoping to develop a set of monitoring tools for this market. Under guidance from the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Industrial Technology Research Institute embarked on a project entitled “Taiwan Data Economy Value Metrics” (台灣資料經濟價值指標), aiming to better understand the data economy industry in Taiwan and develop a methodology to measure the market value of the data economy in Taiwan.
The importance of the data economy goes beyond market values. The rapid development of the data economy has made major countries in the world aware of its strategic significance. The G8 countries have signed an Open Data Charter to encourage governance transparency and promote industry developments and service innovations. The US and the UK governments are also driving large research projects in big data and open data, so as to establish data capabilities with R&D, application innovations and talent development.
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in the UK has formulated policies to enhance data capability in three aspects, i.e. skills, infrastructure, software & collaboration R&D and sharing and linking data securely and appropriately. Starting in 2014, programming is a required element of the curriculum for school children from the age of five and above. It is suggested that both the government and private sectors in Taiwan should continue to invest in the data economy and understand the global dynamics and market needs. This will facilitate the integration of critical resources and policies so as to create a new paradigm and competitive advantage in the data economy.
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