8. Big data and open data in the public sector in enterprises’ business activity

Here, big data or mass data refer to extremely large data sets that accumulate rapidly and that are in various formats. Big data are generated from electronic activities and machine-to-machine communications, and devices and applications require huge storage capacity and performance to be able to handle mass data.

Public sector open data refer to data produced or accumulated by authorities in public administration that are publicly available and can be reused by anyone free of charge, legitimately and in machine readable format.

Questions were asked about the utilisation of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity for the first time in connection with the previous survey, concerning the years 2012 to 2014.

As before, use of data in marketing was seen as most important among the mentioned data uses in 2014 to 2016. Nearly every fourth enterprise mentioned use of data in marketing as having either high or medium importance. Every fifth enterprise assessed the importance of data in research and development as high or medium, and nearly as many recorded the role of data as important in developing process and market innovations, as well as in managing the production process. The importance of big data in developing and improving products has risen slightly, while the importance of public sector open data is still more modest. Buying and selling of big data between enterprises was still a significant business activity for only a few enterprises in 2014 to 2016.

Although the utilisation of big data and open data has an important role for a limited group of enterprises and for most the importance is low or the data are not at all in use, the share of those assessing the use of data relevant for their enterprise has, however, now risen slightly for all uses of data compared with the previous survey.

Every seventh enterprise has estimated that at least one of the mentioned uses of data has high importance, and for every fourth enterprise at most medium important uses were found from the alternatives for data use. Around every fifth assessed that data had only low importance for the enterprise's business activity, and 42 per cent of enterprises said that the mentioned uses of data do not concern at all the business activity of their enterprise. In the previous survey, the share of those enterprises that assessed that matters related to data use did not concern their enterprise was 52 per cent, which means that use of data has become part of the activity for an ever larger group of enterprises, even though its importance is not that high yet.

Figure 21. Importance of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity in 2012 to 2014 (in the figure 2014) and in 2014 to 2016 (in the figure 2016), share of enterprises

Figure 21. Importance of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity in 2012 to 2014 (in the figure 2014) and in 2014 to 2016 (in the figure 2016), share of enterprises

The use of data and its utilisation in business activity naturally vary by the nature of the activity and industry. Apart from the use of data in managing the production process, service enterprises assessed uses of data as more important than manufacturing enterprises, although manufacturing enterprises mentioned the use of data relatively more often than enterprises in service industries. Data by industry can be found in the database tables on the home page of the statistics http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/en/StatFin/StatFin__ttt__inn/

In manufacturing, uses of data with high importance were the use of data in managing the production processes, the use of data in research and development activities and the utilisation of data in developing process innovations, as well as in marketing. In services, enterprises mentioned as important the use of data in marketing and developing market innovations, but also the use of big data in both improving products and developing new products. As in manufacturing, service enterprises also considered the utilisation of data important in research and development activities and in process management.

Figure 22. Importance of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity in manufacturing in 2014 to 2016, share of enterprises

Figure 22. Importance of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity in manufacturing in 2014 to 2016, share of enterprises

Figure 23. Importance of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity in services in 2014 to 2016, share of enterprises

Figure 23. Importance of big data and public sector open data in enterprises’ business activity in services in 2014 to 2016, share of enterprises

Source: Innovation 2016, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mervi Niemi 029 551 3263, Heidi Pirkola 029 551 3246, tiede.teknologia@stat.fi

Director in charge: Sami Saarikivi


Updated 12.4.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Innovation [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-4399. 2016, 8. Big data and open data in the public sector in enterprises’ business activity . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 13.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/inn/2016/inn_2016_2018-04-12_kat_008_en.html