Denmark releases its digital raw material


Out with costly parallel registration by public authorities. And in with growth, innovation and jobs. These are the consequences of an agreement between Local Government Denmark and the Danish government to improve and link public registers of basic data and to make data available to the private sector.

Once the public authorities have tidied up, merged the data and put a stop to parallel registration, annual savings in administration could amount to DKK 260 mill. in 2020. This gives cause for celebration for Bjarne Corydon, Danish Minister for Finance:

As Minister for Finance, of course this is a great day. This project provides us with a more modern public sector and enables us to work more intelligently so that our money in municipalities or at the treasury can be spent as wisely as possible.

Basic data includes private addresses, companies' business registration numbers, or the cadastral numbers of real properties. That is, data which is used again and again, across the entire public sector, to collect land tax, pay social benefits, or prevent flooding.

Businesses too can look forward to large savings when they no longer have to buy their basic data from the public authorities. This gives new opportunities for innovation and growth, for example in the real estate sector, insurance sector and in the telecommunications sector. Smaller companies will also be able to test new ideas without first having to invest huge sums in the data required to create their product. Ole Sohn, Danish Minister for Business and Growth said:

When the data has been released it can be used to develop completely new types of digital products, solutions, and services, which will benefit our companies as well as society at large. It is a vital part of Denmark's digital raw material that we are now releasing, which will create growth and jobs in Denmark.

The project also means that the public no longer have to type in their address every time they are to use a public self-service solution, and in turn public-sector employees can work more efficiently. This pleases Jacob Bundsgaard, Chairman of Local Government Denmark’s committee on labour market and industry:

This project holds great benefits for both individuals and companies. In future they won't have to type in the same information again and again when they have to contact the public authorities. At the same time public employees will have fewer routine tasks so that they can concentrate on tasks that provide added value and, ultimately, lead to more welfare.  

The European Commission has been monitoring the work on basic data in Denmark closely and Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission has much praise for the lead taken by Denmark:

Denmark is setting the pace by unlocking a treasure trove of information. The release of so much of its core datasets used on a regular basis by both public administrations and private business is fantastic.

Further information

Read more about the basic data initiative here

Read more about basic data here