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How digital are Berlin's businesses?

17. February 2023  The majority of German companies (84 percent) have so far only used data to a limited extent as part of their business model and to a limited extent for their own value creation. This is the result of a recent study by the Technologiestiftung Berlin. The reasons for this include uncoordinated data strategies at the management level, low data quality or data protection concerns.

The global amount of data has increased significantly in recent years due to the ever more intensive use of mobile devices and sensors as well as more efficient technological methods of data analysis. This also promotes the discourse on the possibilities and dangers of greater use of corporate data or urban data for the common good. The publication "Datenpotenziale - Wie Datennutzung in der Praxis gelingt" (Data Potentials - How Data Use Works in Practice) took a look at the purposes for which data use takes place locally in Berlin and the concrete potential for value creation that results from it. Using concrete practical examples from Berlin, it highlights specific challenges in data use and explains how these can be addressed. The examples highlight the aspects of resource efficiency, micro-enterprises, advice on data projects and the collection and use of urban data that are particularly relevant for Berlin.

Small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) shape Berlin's economy. However, there is a need to catch up in digitalisation before they can use data meaningfully for themselves. In these companies, data is mainly used for the gradual improvement of processes or gradual increases in efficiency - innovative use of data remains a rarity. The causes are mainly uncoordinated data strategies at management level, insufficient resources, low data quality or data protection concerns. Companies that lack this digital maturity need to redesign processes and strategic approaches. Generation changes often offer the opportunity to start using data. Start-ups, on the other hand, often think about data use from the outset.

Stephan Schwarz, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises: "The digital transformation offers companies many opportunities, but also often presents them with some challenges. The present findings and recommendations of the study show ways in which small and medium-sized enterprises in particular can successfully shape the tasks ahead of them and strengthen their competitiveness. The state of Berlin also supports them with concrete funding programmes such as the digital bonus, which offers grants for digitisation processes. For data to be used quickly, wisely and securely, the question of infrastructure is also a central one. That's why we are consistently expanding the fibre network together with partner companies as part of our gigabit strategy and were able to connect 200,000 new households and company locations in Berlin to the fibre network last year."

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