DataSpace and Data Sharing became a new catchphrase. How is your take on this?

I welcome any approach that aims to break up data silos and fosters collaboration towards data-driven business. At Deloitte, we believe that operating in Data Ecosystems will be the norm in a few years’ time. Research from our AI Institute indicates that “Data Leaders” already share their data with multiple partners and start building industrialized exchange based on their digital twins. In a recent CDO survey, Forrester Research found that more than 70% of global data and analytics decision-makers are expanding their ability to use external data.

DataSpace and Data Sharing became a new catchphrase. How is your take on this?

I was referring to the DataSpaces as outlined by the European Union…

…sure, public authorities play a vital role in Data Sharing. The European Union aims to support Data Sharing, e.g., by the EU Open Data Portal or access to EUSAPA Data. As for the industrial DataSpaces, they simply need to be kicked off.

Why is that?

The market failure in this case is the lack of trust between rivaling players. Say why should two automotive OEMs share their data on their suppliers…

…sounds logic – why would they disclose such information?

Bilateral data sharing is second step. To begin with, we are not talking about sharing any IP or business critical information, but meta-data. Think of it as vendor evaluation on an e-commerce platform. The overall transparency raises the quality of the supply chain as whole. All legit players will benefit from that. Yet, a certain number of participants are required as starting point. Public authorities bare the roles of enablers and mediators – probably the core of economic politics.

What about the internal data programs in the public sector?

Our recent AI dossier indicates that 80% of government organizations are still at the initial or developing digital maturity stages. Depending on the sector, that is like five to ten years behind private sector organizations.

Do you see that changing?

Hopes in Germany are high with the new Government as they clearly push for innovation. On the other hand, priorities seem to shift as big tenders on AI have been postponed for almost a year now.

So, there is delay in time-to-market?

My hunch is that the root cause is deeper. One can not simply issue large-scale data contracts and expect benefits to simply appear. We do not need more reports or strategies, but tangible outcomes. In order to realize such outcomes, certain preconditions must be given.

Such as?

Take Estonia’s E-Government program as role model. For every citizen to access government services you need a unique identifier. In that ground one can exchange data for public administration, healthcare, social security, etc.

What about the data privacy discussion?

Data privacy is one foundation of European agenda and a boundary condition for digital economy. Rather than discussing it (again), we simply should respect it and discuss about the possibilities data can bring in city-planning, mobility, the environment, healthcare, etc.

The interview was conducted by Julia-Katharina Klünder on June 20th in Berlin.


PD Dr. Sebastian Olbrich serves as head of AI & Data Strategy for Deloitte Consulting. He provides more than 18 years of experience in consulting global blue chips and hidden champions in the fields of information management, data-driven business models and machine learning. He served for public sector in multiple roles and projects – e.g., building up European Metropolitan areas, Authority for refugees and migration (BAMF), the EU Open Data Portal or as expert for GAIA-X on behalf of the ministry of economics. Next to consulting he serves as professor for Information Systems & Digital Business at the European Business School (EBS) in Östrich-Winkel and authored more than 60 scientific publications. His passion is to build value-driven information systems that show immediate impact to data-driven organizations.