Barriers to corporate data usage

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This analysis examines the main barriers to corporate data usage and the impact these barriers have on companies. As part of the analysis, Morten Rosenmeier, professor of copyright law at the University of Copenhagen, has prepared an independent legal analysis on data ownership and responsibility, which serves as background analysis to the report. The analysis has been prepared for the Danish Business Authority.

The reason for the analysis is that the scope of data and the possibilities of using it for the development of new business models, products and services are increasing significantly in these years. This is not only due to new technological opportunities and phenomena, such as cloud solutions, social media and the ever-increasing online presence of consumers, internet-of-things, autonomous vehicles, robotics, etc.

However, Danish companies are lagging behind companies in our neighbouring countries when it comes to using data in the business. At the same time, the development is slowing down in Denmark compared to many of the countries we normally compare ourselves to. And that's despite Denmark being among one of the most digitalised societies in the world.

Main results

Companies often face several different barriers at the same time:

  • Seven out of ten of the companies surveyed experience barriers that have prevented data usage.
  • Six in ten companies experience multiple barriers at the same time.

Barriers depend on the data maturity of companies:

  • Lack of knowledge about the value of data, competence and financial barriers are the most frequent barriers that prevent data usage.
  • In particular, barriers that can be attributed to internal company conditions (e.g., knowledge and organisational barriers) preoccupy a lot more companies at a lower level of maturity, while external barriers (e.g., legal barriers) typically preoccupy more companies at a higher level of maturity.

The most frequent barriers do not always have major consequences:

  • There is no correlation necessarily between how often companies experience a barrier and the consequence thereof.
  • Lack of knowledge about the value of data, competence and organisational barriers are often experienced barriers and prevent similar data use by companies. However, data availability and digital infrastructure prevent data usage to a lesser extent.

The study is commissioned by The Danish Business Agency.


Højbjerre Brauer Schultz: "Barrierer for virksomheders dataanvendelse", 2017.

Morten Rosenmeier: "Ejerskab til og ansvar for data", 2017.