Catalysing economic growth: releasing the value of big data

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Imperial College Business School

Abstract

How will Big Data affect innovation, growth and well-being in the UK economy? By Big Data we mean very large or complex datasets that are constantly accumulating in society because of the dramatically increased ability to sense, capture, store and analyse information about social, economic, or scientific phenomena. We anticipate that Big Data and associated analytics may ultimately transform how societies and communities view themselves, and how governments, large corporations, and entrepreneurial startup companies relate to those populations. Therefore it is essential to consider how Big Data might contribute to economic growth and generate opportunities for innovation for UK companies. To shape this discussion, we propose a multi-disciplinary approach that combines economic modelling and measurement, business modelling, and insight into technological dynamics.

This project will create, analyse and describe new economic and business models for valuing Big Data and demonstrate how this can impact upon economic growth for the UK economy. Outputs from this work are directly relevant to policy makers and companies wishing to understand how to harness Big Data. We will investigate both how firms innovate and compete around Big Data and how the local technical and regulatory frameworks enable the commercialization and consumption of the information that Big Data generate. We intend to combine the unique capabilities within Imperial College London to investigate this area of great economic potential and deliver real-word impact through publications, events, education, and direct industry and policy engagement.

Our proposed research brings together leading scholars in Economics, Business, and Computing to investigate critical societal and industrial issues related to Big Data. We will analyse data value chains to shed light on value creation based on large datasets; we will examine firms' strategies in standardization and governance of data assets and activities in network industries, as well as individuals' preferences and constraints in creating and sharing data, to highlight private parties' attempts to capture value from these datasets. We will also investigate the regional implications for Big Data capabilities and effects on macroeconomic performance. In addressing each of these business and economic questions, we will consider ongoing technological dynamics in the area of computing, in particular, in terms of data quality, management, protection, and sharing agreements.

Planned Impact

This project will deliver tangible outputs that are directly applicable to the economic measurement, analysis and policy of the UK through enhancing our understanding of the economic potential of Big Data in the rapidly changing digital economy. We deliver this through several channels:

Engagement with a variety of companies ranging from multinationals to SMEs to understand their challenges. We will develop a detailed understanding of the barriers and opportunities that companies face, and eventually translate the research insights into managerial advice. This will contribute to a better understanding of the macroeconomic effects of big data, as well as potential policy levers to promote entrepreneurial activity within this area in the UK. We will invite our industrial partners and research subjects to participate in our workshops, engage in research interviews, and contribute to the interpretation and application of our research results through public debates in our final conference and subsequent executive education programs.

Improved measurement protocols for statistics agencies and firms. Independent academic studies such as ours using state-of-the-art methods improve the opportunities of agencies and firms to apply the new methods in the Big Data era. We will impact statistics agencies throughout our research directly by utilizing and expanding their datasets, and providing them with our reports on the enhanced methods for data collection and evaluation.

Enhance UK management and policy competence around Big Data. The specific channels include events such as workshops, public lectures, and panel discussions for sharing of ideas; communication and cooperation with policymakers during the research project; and training of future policy experts through postgraduate education.

Managerial tools that companies can apply to develop their understanding of the Big Data challenge. Our tools will help managers understand when to invest in Big Data activities, why they might benefit from opening access to their data sources and how to understand and mitigate the risks associated with Big Data in an era of pervasive digital communication. This will be delivered to the community via the creation of templates and typologies of, and analytical frameworks for Big Data business models that exist in the UK and elsewhere.

Incorporation into the learning objectives and materials of current and future students, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels of education as well as executive education. Through these educational channels, the project outcomes can be delivered quickly and directly into the hands of future industrial leaders. Examples include the delivery of case study materials, conceptual frameworks, as well as detailed quantitative analyses that illustrate the social and macroeconomic implications of big data.

New light on the economic issues associated with the protection of privacy and data security. This project will highlight the partly conflicting incentives of individuals, businesses, and governments in creating, managing and capturing value from Big Data, which are often manifested in legal controversies. These new ideas will be disseminated through the planned public events (workshops and conferences), and through articles and opinions in mainstream news media.

Sharing of ideas, methods, and research results between the Economics, Computing, and Business scholarly communities. Through our workshops and conference with external partners and using the networking resources, we will facilitate a shared understanding of the economic issues related to the Big Data business, informed by technological constraints and dynamics, within the broader scholarly communities in question. Moreover, we will disseminate the outputs of this project throughout the NEMODE and Sustainable Society Network+ communities and generate closer ties for researchers, academics and companies interested in the Big Data space.

Publications

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Koutroumpis P (2021) Digital instruments as invention machines in Communications of the ACM

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Ahlfeldt G. Speed 2.0: Evaluating access to universal digital highways in Conference proceedings

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Thomas L (2020) Markets for data in Industrial and Corporate Change

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Papazafeiropoulou A (2015) Understanding governance, risk and compliance information systems (GRC IS): The experts view in Information Systems Frontiers

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Spanaki K (2017) Data supply chain (DSC): research synthesis and future directions in International Journal of Production Research

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Ahlfeldt G (2017) Speed 2.0: Evaluating Access to Universal Digital Highways in Journal of the European Economic Association

 
Description We are seeking to quantify and model the economic impact of big data in the UK. We have collected data and developed models to that end. We will analyze the data and report the findings in the second year of the project.
Exploitation Route We have not reported our findings yet
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

 
Description Our early insights have been shared with about 10 major UK and foreign innovating organizations in the big data industry. We continue to collaborate on specific research activities and anticipate that the models and results will be adopted in the second year of the project and beyond.
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
 
Description IoT Hub
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
 
Title IP licensing data 
Description A database of intellectual property licensing agreements collected from the US Securities and Exchange Commission filings and open data distributors. These license agreements include licenses for data products and other forms of intellectual property, highlighting how markets for data works in comparison with other forms of intellectual property. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The data are being downloaded and organized as we speak. We begin the analyses in December. 
 
Title Other data collection 
Description Collection of ONS data on the sales and inputs of "data industries" such as Data analysis consultancy services, and from e-skills UK and NESTA. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact These data will be used to triangulate estimates of big data investments. 
 
Title SDS data to replicate ONS method for measurement of big data investments 
Description Survey data in Secure Data Service (SDS) used to replicate ONS method for measurement of investment in own-account software, so investment can be broken down into contributions from various relevant occupations 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Used as a basis for modeling and eventually testing the economic impact of investments in big data creation and analysis. 
 
Description EIT ICT Labs study of the economic impact of information and communication technologies in Europe 
Organisation EIT ICT Labs
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A study of ICT innovation in Europe, including big data innovation.
Collaborator Contribution idea exchange, feedback
Impact A report on the economic impact of ICTs in Europe
Start Year 2013
 
Description Elisa Telecommunications Knowledge Networks 
Organisation Elisa Oyj
Country Finland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A. Leiponen, P. Koutroumpis engaged in joint research on big data and Internet of Things/Industrial Internet
Collaborator Contribution Research starting in summer 2016
Impact no outputs yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Tech Partnership (formerly e-skills UK) 
Organisation Technology Partnership Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Work by P. Goodridge, J. Haskel on big data was quoted as evidence for contribution of digital skills to UK economy within report for "UK productivity plan"). We met to discuss productivity measurement and links with digital/ICT/data: 22/09/15
Collaborator Contribution advice on measurement and skill categorization
Impact better measurement and dissemination of techniques to assess big data employment
Start Year 2015
 
Description TechUK workshop 
Organisation Duchy College
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution P. Goodridge, J. Haskel held workshop for industry representatives jointly hosted at TechUK on "Measuring investments in data and data analytics, and estimating their contribution to UK GDP": 12/11/14
Collaborator Contribution workshop organization
Impact collected information from industry participants on big data skills and employment; described efforts in this research project to measure and quantify impact of big data investments
Start Year 2014
 
Description Academy of Management Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Symposium at Business Policy and Strategy and Organization and Management Theory divisions. Academy of Management, Anaheim CA, August 2016: "Digitization and Strategy: Competitive Implications of Digital Technologies and Big Data." Presenters: Chris Forman (Georgia Tech), Kristina McElheran (University of Toronto), Abhishek Nagaraj (MIT), Prasanna Tambe (NYU), Aija Leiponen (Cornell and Imperial), Llewellyn Thomas (Imperial and Abu Dhabi).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Big data workshop I 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The first project workshop included industry representatives from IBM, OpenSignal, Experian, F-Secure, NEC, HP. The purpose of the workshop was to identify key research questions that matter the most to the industry. The whole team participated.

We followed up with each of the participants afterwards to subsequently interview their views and their companies' activities in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Big data workshop II 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Our second workshop included participants from academia (Warwick, Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, UCL) and from industry (BBC, IBM, F-Secure, Thomson Reuters) to discuss emerging research results from our project as well as Digital Economy/BigData projects in peer institutions. The whole project team participated.

We have begun to build a network of UK scholars with shared interests, and a community of industry partners who care about our research outputs. We continue to interact, exchange ideas, and also carry out research in collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Digital Economy All-Hands conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Digital Economy All-Hands conference presentation on "ICT innovation in Europe: Productivity gains, startup growth and retention" by P. Koutroumpis and L. Thomas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Google Innovation Metrics workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A. Leiponen participated in the innovation metrics and data workshop for leading innovation economists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Media coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Research by P. Koutroumpis covered in CentrePiece 20 (2) Autumn 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/cp456.pdf
 
Description Media coverage for Speed 2.0 paper 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact P. Koutroumpis paper with Ahlfeldt and Valletti featured in the media portal voxeu.org
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.voxeu.org/article/evaluating-access-universal-digital-highways
 
Description Meetings with industry partners 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact J. Haskel and P. Goodridge arranged several meetings with Google, SAP, Oracle, Deloitte, Selex to discuss measurement of big data activity and obtain feedback on the economic framework.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2016
 
Description Professional Development Workshop at Academy of Management 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Big Data Management and Strategy. Professional Development Workshop, All-Academy Theme, Academy of Management, Vancouver Canada, August 2015. Presenters: Henry Schildt (Aalto), Chris Forman (Georgia Tech), Prasanna Tambe (NYU), Llewellyn Thomas, Aija Leiponen
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Scientific Seminar on the Economics and Policy of Communication and Media, Florence School of Regulation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact P. Koutroumpis presented Speed 2.0: Evaluating Access to Universal Digital Highways
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Searle Center Roundtable on Intellectual Property and Standard Setting: The Datasets. Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, April 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A. Leiponen participated in the roundtable discussion of economic research on intellectual property and standard setting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Service Innovation symposium, Organizational Communication and Information Systems division, Academy of Management, August 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A. Leiponen made a presentation "Data-Driven Service Innovation"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Strategic Management Society conference panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Leiponen, A.: Data and Analytics for Strategy (invited panelist), Knowledge and Innovation Interest Group, Strategic Management Society conference, Denver CO, October 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Tilburg Law and Economics workshop on Standardization and Licensing, Tilburg, Netherlands, January 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Leiponen A. presented a paper on "Market power in wireless standard setting"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015