The third Round Table in the Power from Statistics project dealt with new economic and business models. It took place on 2 February 2017 in Rome (Italy). Experts from Europe and the United States and high‑level representatives of various services of the European Commission discussed unmet needs for data to inform policies, major trends in innovative business models and new information needs arising from these trends.
The experts underlined the challenge in striking an appropriate balance between the need for comparability over time and the capacity to represent a changing reality. The experts also spoke about the development of new business models for collaborating with third-party data custodians (platforms) and identifying mutual benefits allowing the access to anonymised data. Another topic was digital services.
For labour markets, the experts discussed issues such as increased automation leading to new information requirements, the growing difficulty in identifying the different categories of employment (and self-employment) and the resulting crucial role of appropriate classifications for collecting and analysing the data. Furthermore, they discussed the aim of statistics on labour: what to measure (productivity, use of time, employment…), how to measure, and how official statistics can detect emerging phenomena and information needs, like the measurement of the level of cohesion of a society.
Concerning innovation, the experts agreed on the importance of capturing the characteristics of innovation, appropriately illustrating the skills gap (which might require new ways of measuring existing skills and the skills requested by innovative companies), and the need to go beyond the surveys of today.
The experts also found a need for identifying and integrating different data sources for reducing data gaps and inconsistencies concerning financing and investment. They also discussed the challenge of getting the price right for new digital services, with additional information requirements emerging to allow for the appropriate disentanglement of differences in price and quality.
The experts will write articles on the most promising of the topics discussed at the Round Table in an Outlook Report. This report will be discussed at the high-level conference “Power from Statistics; Data, Information and knowledge” on the future of official statistics, which will take place in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2017.