The volume of data that governments, businesses and organizations manage has grown exponentially; with the data-intensive sector of the economy growing 40% per year. If turned into actionable, “smart” data, this presents vast opportunities to drive productivity, innovation and competitiveness in Europe.
Although the U.K, Germany, Ireland and Netherlands are leaders in big data at post-graduate and industrial level, “demand is growing but supply is not keeping up”; a finding that has led to a renewed questioning from many countries regarding whether their education systems can provide the transversal data skills needed.
As the majority of VET teachers/trainers entered the workforce before big data existed and there is currently no reliable source of training to help today’s teachers/trainers acquire the knowledge and skills they need to teach smart data effectively. Secondly, VET managers and wider stakeholders are unaware of how smart data can be applied to improve decision making about what to teach, to who and how, to enhance employment and entrepreneurship. In most institutions, data is used to evaluate outcomes (after), rather than being used predictively to plan interventions (before).
Our Smart Data, Smart Regions project will respond to this challenge by directly improving the ability of entrepreneurship VET policy makers and practitioners to understand, teach and implement smart data within their institutions. Moreover, it will help them use data to adapt and optimise entrepreneurship development strategies at regional level, becoming “smart regions”.