Analysing, mapping, quantifying, and monitoring data flows within and outside of the EU in the area of cloud computing is fundamental to support decision-making, industrial choices and investment decisions. It is also key to assessing the competitiveness of the European digital economy based on the analysis of current and future patterns of data flows while monitoring the movement of data against the free flow of non-personal data principle across the EU economy.
To provide economic intelligence in data flows in the area of cloud computing, the Commission created a Data Flow Visualisation Tool.
The tool allows the Commission to:
- map and estimate the volume of main data flows in the area of cloud computing across the EU 27 Member States (i.e. intra-EU data flows) and with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (i.e. extra-EU data flows);
- forecast data outflows up to 2030;
- analyse volume of data flows per sector, company size and cloud service type.
The map and graphs provide comparative country data flow and outflow forecasts up to 2030.
The Data Flow Visualisation Tool comprises data from 31 countries in Europe. It will be used to monitor data flow trends and volumes within these countries. The tool can also be useful as strategic foresight instrument to support future decision-making, trade and investment decisions in cloud computing based on data flow evidence.
The data presented in the Data Flow Visualisation Tool is expected to be updated on a yearly basis. The data collection sources used are ranging from primary sources such as official statistical data to secondary sources such as surveys and interviews. The novel methodology developed for providing this tool is described in the report of the study 'Mapping Data Flows'. The methodology underpinning the tool will also be enhanced in 2022 to include the quantification of the economic values of data flows and to estimate extra-EU data flows with key trade partners.
Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information, no guarantee is given nor responsibility taken for errors or omissions in the source materials used to compile the cloud and edge facilities maps.
To build the Data Flow Monitoring, the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT), in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre launched an additional company and public entity voluntary survey (now closed) to gather aggregated and anonymised data on:
- the amount of data stored within cloud infrastructures by companies and public entities within the EU (i.e. data stocks);
- the volume of data moved from one cloud infrastructure to another across the EU.
The European Strategy for Data recognised the strategic importance of gaining economic intelligence on data flows and so put forward the development of a Data Flow Strategic Analytical Framework. To deliver on this key action, the Commission conducted a study on ‘Mapping Data Flows’ that develops and tests for the very first time a new, self-sustained and replicable methodology, resulting in the Data Flow Visualisation Tool, to quantify, map and analyse cloud data flows per sector, geography and enterprise size across 31 countries in Europe.