Germany’s data economy: potential and challenges


Germany is sitting on a treasure trove of data, but hardly uses it. This is shown by a current survey by the digital association Bitkom, which examines the data economy in the country. Of the companies surveyed, only six percent stated that they were exploiting the full potential of their data. Over 42 percent of companies, however, only use their data “fairly little” and 18 percent “not at all.” These results shed light on a paradoxical situation: remaining in the digital age despite the high value of data these often go unused.

Lack of data usage and its reasons

The Bitkom study highlights various causes for the hesitant use of data. The main reason is significant uncertainty about what is permitted by law and how data can be legally shared. 58 percent of companies say they do not share data due to privacy concerns. Another 44 percent are unsure about the legal requirements, and 33 percent have problems with data compatibility. Bitkom President Dr. Ralf Wintergerst warns: “The data economy is a market with rapidly increasing demand and stagnating supply. It won’t work like that in the long run.”

This uncertainty is confirmed by an analysis by auditors from EY and the Center for European Politics (CEP).The strict data protection rules in Germany are slowing down data-driven business modelsand causing the country to miss important economic opportunities. 62 percent of the companies surveyed confirm that existing rules inhibit data-driven business models.

Bitkom data usage - data remains unused
Bitkom data usage – data remains unused


Dangers of inadequate data use

The low use of data has significant economic consequences. Companies not only miss opportunities to optimize their processes and develop new products and services, but they also run the risk of losing touch internationally. In a globalized economy where data is a key competitive factor, this can lead to a backlog of innovation.

Another problem is the unwillingness to share data. Only 17 percent of companies share their data with other companies, which hinders the development of synergies and innovations. The main reasons for this are legal concerns: 58 percent of companies say that data protection does not allow sharing, while 44 percent are unsure whether sharing data is legally possible. In addition, 41 percent worry that their data could be used against their will. These legal frameworks significantly inhibit the data economy and prevent economic opportunities from being fully exploited.

Bitkom Data Usage - Legal Concerns
Bitkom data usage – legal concerns


Opportunities and outlook

Despite the challenges, many companies see the potential of data-driven business models. Almost every second company plans to use data better in the future. The Bitkom study also shows that companies that actively share data benefit more from data exchange. Data rooms that offer a structured and secure environment for data exchange could be a solution here. But these are not yet widespread in the German economy either.

Another central topic is the European Union Data Act. The study shows that every second company does not deal with the opportunities and risks of the Data Act. Only 21 percent of companies have addressed or are currently discussing this important issue. However, the Data Act could play a crucial role in reducing legal uncertainty and promoting the flow of data between companies.

It is clear that Germany needs to rethink its strict data protection rules in order to fully exploit the potential of the data economy. Less strict rules could promote innovation and strengthen the competitiveness of German companies. However, this requires a balance between data protection and economic freedom.

Bitkom data usage - Data Act
Bitkom data usage – Data Act



Germany has the potential to play a leading role in the global data economy. However, this requires the legal framework to be adjusted and companies to be able to use their data securely and efficiently. A rethink in data protection policy could help to avoid innovation bottlenecks and take advantage of the economic opportunities of the digital age.

The road to a successful data economy is rocky, but the efforts could be worth it: for companies, for the economy and for society as a whole. It is time for Germany to leverage its data treasures and make the data economy a driver for innovation and growth!

Acceleraid@data usage

Acceleraid can play a crucial role here by enabling companies to use the full potential of their data. The platform uses data from new customers and regular customers To increase conversions and increasesales. By addressing users in a targeted and personalized manner at different touchpoints, Acceleraid can help strengthen customer loyalty and improve the efficiency of marketing campaigns. These data-driven approaches help companies overcome uncertainty and fully exploit the potential of their data economy. Further information can be found here.