BYTE meets the Big and Open Data community in Vienna in the European Data Economy Workshop

On 15th of September the BYTE partners attended the European Data Economy Workshop to present the last outcomes of the project and discuss on the most important activities around the European Data Economy with stakeholders from the Big and Open Data community.

Rachel Finn from Trilateral Research & Consulting introduces BYTE findings
Rachel Finn from Trilateral Research & Consulting introduces BYTE findings


Big Data Externalities presentation:

More information:

Join BYTE in the European Data Economy Workshop – Focus Data Value Chain & Big Data

When?: 15th of September 2015, 09.00am to 13.00pm CEST

Where?University of Economics Vienna, CampusTC Lecture Hall 1 (see: room plan)

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Description of the workshop

This workshop is organized back2back to the SEMANTiCS2015 conference, taking place 16-17 of September at the University of Economics Vienna, Austria in the 11th edition this year.

It provides insights in some of the most important activities around the European Data Economy – with a strong focus on Big Data and the Data Value Chain.The goal of the workshop is first, to overview the state of the art in Europe regarding Big Data & Data Management initiatives and its impact in the European economy and benefits for the European society. Representatives from the annual European Data Forum (see:, Big Data related projects: the BYTE Project (see:, BigDataEurope (see: and RETHINKbig (see: and a representative of the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology   and the  ODINE- Open Data Incubator Europe presenting data-related activities will participate during the first session of the workshop. Furthermore it gives information about the Austrian Big Data Study carried out in 2014 by AIT and IDC.

Second, this workshops aims to identify the necessary requirements in terms of research activities, technologies, skills and other societal items to benefit of data value. Hence, after initial presentations on the topics of the Data Value Chain and the Big Data Value Association, the 3 mentioned Big Data projects as well as the Austrian Big Data Study and Austrian data activities, the 2nd part of the half day workshop will be an interactive session to identify, evaluate and discuss the requirements for successful big data & data management together with all participants and to present findings as a concrete result of the workshop.

Target Groups

CIOs and/or CDOs, Data Scientists and project manager from industry and public administration and/or research as well as everybody that is working on or planning a concrete data management project (possibly with a big data focus).

The organizers

Nelia Lasierra (STI Innsbruck) & Martin Kaltenböck (Semantic Web Company) with support of the BYTE and BigDataEurope projects


Horizontal analysis of societal externalities of big data

The BYTE-project presents a horizontal analysis in D4.1 of the case studies it has undertaken of positive and negative externalities in the use of big data. The practices involving big data show a wide variety in characteristics and maturity. Technical challenges often are the translation of societal externalities. 4 main categories of societal externalities were reviewed: economic externalities, social and ethical externalities, legal externalities and political externalities.

We have observed positive economical externalities (and social when the activity concerns social aims) in terms of innovation and in improvements in efficiency. This also leads to changes in business models and the appearance of new business models, which also includes ‘creative destruction’ of old models and can lead to dominance of and dependence on a few technological players. Further, despite these positive economic impacts the role of public funding proves to be important into kick-starting a data economy.

The risk for negative impacts on important social values could also be observed. In most case studies (potential) negative effects on privacy were reported, while several case studies mentioned the risk for equality and new risks for discriminatory practices. Trust was often also an issue, where the risk for manipulation and exploitation leads to distrust and withdrawal. This points to the need for developing practices, including but not limited to legal frameworks, which can assure a proper balance and thereby establish trust. In this respect both data protection and intellectual property rights are important legal frameworks, but often acting as a barrier to big data. In general both frameworks were considered outdated and too restrictive for big data. Political externalities concerned mostly political economics. Public sector or non-profit organisations fear rent-seeking behaviour or capture by the private sector. Further the fear to lose control to actors abroad, and in particular US-based actors, was present widely and sometimes translates in protectionist attitudes and requirements to store data within national territories.

The overall picture shows positive benefits but also the potential to negatively affect other important social or ethical values. Important is that big data is not just a technical issue but has an impact on organisational borders and the ‘business ecology’ in general. This leads to uncertainty and conflict in a range of areas, translating in distrust and reluctance by all sorts of actors and conflicts on political and legal level. Organisational borders need to be redefined or redrawn, while also social norms and legal frameworks need to be clarified again based on a proper balancing of all interests.