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For this report , the German Economic Institute (IW) and other partners surveyed 1,104 German industrial companies and service providers. According to the capability maturity model developed by the researchers, when it comes to the data economy, 84% of the companies surveyed count as beginners: they only use corresponding IT systems for basic features or not at all. Fourteen percent are categorized as advanced adopters and only two percent can be regarded as pioneers because a large part of their business is already based on the data economy. The study identified a lack of experience and know-how as hurdles. The main problems arise in the form of data protection, property rights and a lack of standards.

The German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) has summarized and answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the data economy. In doing so, the experts especially focus on data ownership – which, according to the IW study, is a concern for many companies.