Big Data Ecosystem Stakeholders

Ecosystem Stakeholders

A European big data business ecosystem is an important factor for commercialisation and commodification of big data services, products, and platforms. A successful big data ecosystem would see all “stakeholders interact seamlessly within a Digital Single Market, leading to business opportunities, easier access to knowledge and capital” (European Commission, 2014).

The Micro, Meso, and Macro Levels of a Big Data Ecosystem (Adapter from Moore (Moore, 1996))

A well-functioning working data ecosystem must bring together the key stakeholders with a clear benefit for all.   The key actors in a big data ecosystem, as illustrated above, are:

  • Data Suppliers: Person or organisation (Large and SME) that create, collect, aggregate, and transform data from both public and private sources
  • Technology Providers: Typically organisations (Large and SME) as providers of tools, platforms, services, and know-how for data management
  • Data End Users: Person or organisation from different industrial sectors (private and public) that leverage big data technology and services to their advantage.
  • Data Marketplace: Person or organisation that host data from publishers and offer it to consumers/end users.
  • Start-ups and Entrepreneurs: Develop innovative data-driven technology, products, and services.
  • Researchers and Academics: Investigate new algorithms, technologies, methodologies, business models, and societal aspects needed to advance big data.
  • Regulators for data privacy and legal issues.
  • Standardisation Bodies: Define technology standards (both official and de-facto) to promote the global adoption of big data technology.
  • Investors, Venture Capitalists and Incubators: Person or organisation that provide resources and services to develop the commercial potential of the ecosystem.

Toward a Big Data Ecosystem

Enabling a European wide data ecosystem will require a number of technical challenges to be overcome associated with the cost and complexity of publishing and utilising data. Current ecosystems face a number of problems such as data discovery, curation, linking, synchronization, distribution, business modelling, sales and marketing. A number of key societal and environmental challenges need to be overcome to establish effective big data ecosystems; these include but are not limited to:

  • Understanding the value and contribution of big data technology
  • Determining the value of data
  • Identification of business models that will support a data-driven ecosystem
  • Enabling entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to easily access the ecosystem
  • Preservation of privacy and security for all actors in the ecosystem
  • Reducing fragmentation of languages, intellectual property rights, laws, and policy practices between EU countries

Excerpt from: Curry, E. (2016) ‘The Big Data Value Chain: Definitions, Concepts, and Theoretical Approaches’, in Cavanillas, J. M., Curry, E., and Wahlster, W. (eds) New Horizons for a Data-Driven Economy: A Roadmap for Usage and Exploitation of Big Data in Europe. Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-21569-3_3.


  • European Commission (2014) Towards a thriving data-driven economy, Communication from the commission to the European Parliament, the council, the European economic and social Committee and the committee of the regions. Brussels. Available at:
  • Moore, J. F. (1996) The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems. HarperCollins. Available at: