The number of EU data companies and users continues to grow

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According to the European Data Market study, there were approximately 249,000 data companies (1) in 2015, representing 13.8% of the 1.8 million ICT and professional services enterprises. Concerning the data-using companies (2), IDC estimates that in 2015 there were 650,000 European enterprises that made strategic and intensive use of datasets and new data technologies. They represent only 6.3% of the 10.3 million of all potential user companies.

Businesses don’t need to spend billions to be able to use big data. On the contrary! The study shows that a data-using company spent €79,000 on average in 2015 for data technologies and services. According to the study, SMEs spend on average much less (€26,000 per year) than enterprises with more than 250 employees (€5.73 Million).

Where there is a smart investment, there is an increase in revenues. That is why enterprises invest in big data, given that overall value of data companies' revenues (3) grew by 8.4% between 2014 and 2015, reaching €56 Billion in 2015.

What is even more interesting is that companies of all sizes are benefiting from this trend even though, smaller data companies are growing slightly slower than larger ones. According to the study, the smaller enterprises will catch up with larger ones in the coming years as the data industry continues to mature.

The ICT and professional services industries are big on big data

The data industry is dynamic and continues to attract start-ups, innovative SMEs, as well as a growing number of more traditional and existing enterprises that make a more intensive use of data and data-related technologies for business purposes.

In 2015, the majority of the European data companies belonged to the ICT sector (59%), and they are growing more rapidly than those in the second largest sector; the professional services industry (41%).

Concerning the data-using companies, the professional services, manufacturing, transport and utilities industries totalled more than two thirds of Europe’s population in 2015.

The largest EU economies dominate the picture

The UK, Italy and Germany gather most of the data companies in the EU. In fact, they mustered almost ⅔ of all data companies in the EU in 2013 - 2015. Speaking of data-using companies, the UK and Germany are leading Europe, though together they still do not represent 40% of all European data-using companies.

The study forecasts that the largest EU economies will dominate the scene in the year 2020 in terms of the absolute amount of data revenues with the UK, Germany, France and Italy prevailing and coming at the top of the list. Nevertheless, smaller economies (e.g. Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands) will take the lead in terms of relative growth rates in the period 2015-2020.

For more information about the study, please follow this link:

The European Data Market Monitoring Tool is available at the following link:

(1) Data companies are data suppliers’ organizations, whose main activity is the production and delivery of digital data-related products, services, and technologies. They represent the supply side of the data market.

(2) Data users are organisations that generate, exploit collect and analyse digital data intensively and use what they learn to improve their business. They represent the demand side of the data market.

(3) Data companies’ revenues correspond to the aggregated value of all the data-related products and services generated by Europe-based companies, including exports outside the EU.