High Time for a Sustainable Data Strategy


ZEW Economist Irene Bertschek on the Data Strategy of the German Government

ZEW economist Professor Irene Bertschek comments on the German government’s draft for a data strategy.

The German government has presented a first draft of its data strategy, which is being discussed today in the Cabinet Committee on Digitalisation. One of the goals of the strategy is to secure access to data and improve their availability. Professor Irene Bertschek, head of ZEW’s Research Department “Digital Economy”, comments on this matter:

“Not least since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, it has become clear how important data and their use are for making informed decisions. It is therefore high time for a sustainable data strategy and a constructive discussion on how it should be designed. It is important that both the access to data and their usability are improved. Possible ways of using data result, for example, from linking different data sets. In addition, the sometimes highly fragmented data protection regulations at federal and state level should be harmonised.

In line with the EU strategy on data, it is advisable to adopt a sector-specific approach in addition to having an overarching framework. The research community has made several proposals for the use of data for scientific purposes, which should be taken into account when deciding on the data strategy. In view of the large number of measures planned, it is desirable to start with pilot projects in some fields and to continuously monitor the implementation of the data strategy as planned.”