Big Opportunities and Big Challenges for Big Data in Europe

28 February 2015 Author: EIFonline

Analysts estimate 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. The exponential growth in the Internet of things will also bring with it an explosion of data, a trend that is usually referred to as Big Data. Almost every business can improve its products and services by analyzing existing data in new ways.

Information on energy use can improve distribution allowing for tailored rates, more accurate bills, and increased efficiency. Data can be useful for urban planners including making adjustments to the transport network of a city or to doctors to improve the health care system. The benefits and the opportunities that this revolution entails as well as the policy challenges that need to be addressed were debated with experts at the EIF dinner on 24 February.

Pilar del Castillo, MEP and EIF Chair, hosted this debate in the European Parliament. She noted the current growth of Big Data markets and forecast a big future for them in Europe.


Giuseppe Abbamonte, Director of Directorate G Media & Data at the DG CONNECT, presented the European Commission’s latest Communication on Data-Driven Economy, and stressed that the Commission is working with the European Parliament, Council, Members States, industry and other stakeholders on an action plan to advance the data-driven economy in Europe. The plan should be ready to present to the European Data Forum 2015 in November. 


Enrique Medina, Chief Policy Officer at Telefonica, showcased how the biggest Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider is using Big Data to improve various business processes. 


Gianpiero Lotito, Founder and CEO of FacilityLive, presented the success story of FacilityLive, a European Startup benefiting from the Big Data revolution, and  how Europe should embrace the Big Data opportunities.


Ajit Jaokar, Professor at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and EIF Advisor, spoke about possibilities and problems for Big Data and the Internet of Things in Europe.


Kasey A. Chappelle, Global Privacy Counsel at Vodafone Group, addressed privacy issues in the context of Big Data.


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