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Data science, data analytics and data spaces

Data science, data analytics and data spaces

The amount of data we all produce is exploding as everything and everyone is online. Customer data, sales data, medical records, tax returns... all examples of the huge mountain of digital data we refer to as big data. Data science, data analytics and data spaces focus on collecting, managing, accessing, sharing and analysing data to create value. The Commit2Data programme was created to discover new business models and opportunities around data.


Data collections that are too large and unstructured to maintain with regular database management systems are referred to as Big Data. Data science, data analytics and data spaces are three terms often used in the field of data processing and analysis. While they have some overlapping aspects, there are also differences between the concepts. While data science focuses on developing models and algorithms to extract insights from data, data analytics focuses on exploring and interpreting data to obtain usable information. Data spaces (also called data ecosystems) is a relatively new concept and refers to the infrastructure and environment in which data can be stored, shared and analysed. The data ecosystem includes centralised and distributed databases and data sharing solutions. In these so-called federated (or distributed) solutions, data and tasks are shared across multiple systems, servers or organisations, with each part having its own responsibility and contributing to the bigger picture. This offers advantages in terms of scalability, resilience and privacy protection.

Data must be FAIR

For analysis and value creation, the data must be FAIR (an acronym for Findadable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). This is a set of principles and guidelines developed to improve data quality and reuse. In addition, agreements should be made on use, access and value of the data. Data can be very heterogeneous, structured or unstructured, static or dynamic. Using the extracted values, predictions can be made, automated decisions can be taken and models and visualisations can be created that provide more insight into the data.

Key applications

Large, complex datasets impact virtually all sectors of society, such as business, government, education and healthcare. More and more smart devices at home, in the office, in the car, or on our bodies (via sensors and wearables) are generating huge amounts of data. In order to do something with that data, complex analysis must take place with the right tools. Organisations can thus predict and influence your behaviour increasingly easily. This offers significant advantages, but there are also risks, such as the possibility of privacy breaches or filter bubbles. Two European laws - the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA) - that came into force in 2023 impose stricter data collection and retention rules on large technology companies.

Making better use of opportunities

Data science, data analytics and data spaces play a major role in the innovation of services, products and work processes. Smart data collection and deployment will strengthen Dutch economic growth. Commercial companies will get more insight into their customers' (buying) behaviour and consumers will get, for example, customised healthcare, education or offers. Municipalities or the police can use this key technology to make policy or assess risks. Science and journalism can also make extensive use of data science, data analytics and data spaces. Acquiring data poses increasing challenges in terms of secure storage and sharing and analysis of data. These challenges apply to all sectors. Making the most of the opportunities offered by Big Data and making the transition to a smarter, data-driven economy requires new expertise. Commit2Data assists organisations in this regard.


By bringing science and business together, Commit2Data aims to discover new business models and opportunities in the field of Big Data. Curious about the ten themes and projects that have already been realised?

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Centre of Excellence for Data Sharing and Cloud (CoE DSC)

The real value of data can only be realised if it is shared and reused in the digital economy. The CoE-DSC centre of expertise is the focal point in the Netherlands for finding answers to data sharing challenges.

Go to CoE DSC

Smart applications for top sectors

Commit2Data was created to further develop the use of Big Data. Commit2Data is a multi-year national research and innovation programme based on public-private partnerships. The programme collaborates across sectors on data issues, as well as conducting sector-specific programmes. Commit2Data aims to develop smart ICT solutions to data science, data analytics and data space issues in the coming years. Those applications can be applied within a growing number of (Top) sectors. From Energy and Life Sciences & Health to Safety & Security.

Up-to-date information on data science, data analytics and data spaces

Gaining knowledge on trends, developments and research data in the field of Data science, data analytics and data spaces in a timely manner will help you when making decisions. You can read the latest news here. In addition, you will see where and when there are important meetings in this field and we offer background stories, reports, analysis and interviews. This ensures you always stay up-to-date.

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