Finnish business people, government representatives, lobbyists and academics shared ideas and viewpoints on data sharing in a seminar on 1 November in Otaniemi. Some of the best Finnish examples on data sharing and governance were presented - Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Metsäpaikka, Jakamo, Fingrid Datahub, KIRA-digi and MyData. Insipiration for the group discussions was given by Professor Aija Leiponen from Cornell University with her presentation on data strategy.
Do you know the value of your data?
Companies doesn’t necessarily understand which data is valuable or its true value. Value of data might also change over time. It might be openly shared now, but with changes in operational environment becomes business critical in a few years time.
The participants listed e.g. health and customer data as valuable, but always in context. Data in its absolute value is useless if you don’t know to whom or where it relates to.
Data used for prediction and thus lowering the uncertainty was seen valuable. One participant even had an innovative idea on using predictive maintenance method for preventing the exclusion of young adults from society.
Refining, sharing and combining data over company and industry borders in an innovative way was seen as the best way to increase the value of data. Here the quality of data is crucial.
"The value of data can come from unexpected sources, so keep an open mind!" says Marco Halen from Aalto University.
New players may emerge in between you and your customer
Google Analytics for online shops and Wolt for home delivery from restaurants are just some examples of companies that have invented a new business in between the traditional seller and buyer. In industries like manufacturing and the more regulated transportation we are now starting to see similar phenomena.
(De)Regulation plays a big role
Often in platform businesses the forerunners become almost monopolies like Google or Amazon. However, the participants viewed that with timely regulatory measures and inducements governments are able to influence that not all industries end up “monopoly generators”. A good benchmark is what the Finnish government did about 20 years ago when telecommunication market was opened up, breaking the monopoly, and creating a nourishing open innovation culture. Liikennekaari, the Finnish Governments’ Act on Mobility as a Service, is an excellent and timely example of similar act.
Who owns the data?
All participants said that owning data is important to their organization, but there is limited understanding on how to agree with other players on data sharing. Increasing the understanding is considered important, but it seems that organizations do not currently invest in this. When asked to reflect the importance of data ownership in three years time half of the participants felt it important whereas the other half not at all. The discussions indicate that we are just in the beginning of understanding what data ownership means, how and with what conditions it should be shared.
Removing obstacles with education
Values, culture and lack of competence were seen as some of the obstacles of sharing data. Why would a company invest in developing something if they don’t understand the value it could bring. Education, training and deregulation is needed, but also making visible the value that comes from sharing data. By showing good examples others will follow.
The seminar on data governance was arranged by two Strategic Research Council projects “Digital Disruption of Industry” and “Platform Value Now”.
We will continue the discussion on our LinkedIn group Digital Disruption of Industry - please join!
Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – Maria Rautavirta, Ministry of Transport and Communications (in Finnish)
Mobility as a Service (MaaS) - Sampo Hietanen, MaaS Global
KIRA-digi – Teemu Lehtinen, KIRA-digi
Fingrid Datahub – Antti Aarnio, Fingrid
MyData – Kai Kuikkaniemi, Aalto University
Metsäpaikka – Mikko Pohjola, Wuudis
Jakamo – Anssi Uitto, Jakamo
Data Strategy – Aija Leiponen, Cornell University