Improved data sharing with industry associations to enable benchmarking

Improved data sharing with industry associations to enable benchmarking

This content was created by the Data Sharing Coalition, one of the founding partners of the CoE-DSC.

In every sector, data sharing can lead to better insights in sector trends and enables benchmarking. To facilitate this, industry associations are in a unique position. That is why the Data Sharing Coalition supports a use case where members share (cross-sectoral) data with an industry association. Based on this data the industry association will create sector trends and facilitate benchmarks for its members. Through the use case, industry associations in all sectors will be enabled to accelerate implementation of a scalable data sharing infrastructure for consuming data of its members.

Organisations collaborate within a sector to maximise opportunities

In many sectors, organisations share information with each other to optimise their offerings and operations. For example, in the mobility sector, mobility providers share information on timetables and product prices with each other. This enables other mobility providers and service providers (e.g. transit apps) to optimise offerings and operations, in the end to collaboratively provide a customer journey as seamless as possible. In the medical sector doctors and hospitals share patients’ medical history information, which leads to more efficient medical processes and better personal care. In the banking sector, banks share transaction risk data with each other to prevent fraud.

Information on sector trends and benchmarks enable organisations to make strategic decisions

As indicated by the examples above, sharing information digitally is an important part of collaboration between organisations. Among other applications, it enables organisations to be informed on sector trends and to benchmark themselves to peers.

Sector trends can be created through bundling information of individual organisations within a sector. These inform organisations on the characteristics of, the changes within and performance of their sector. Examples include information on a sector’s financial performance and measurement of a sector’s ecological footprint. Organisations are enabled to navigate in changing environments by acting upon information on sector trends. In a longer term, sector trends can be shared across sectors, to compare sectors and learn from each other.

In addition, data sharing enables benchmarks across organisations. Benchmarking is the practice of comparing individual metrics to metrics of other organisations, enabling an organisation to compare their performance to their peers. Benchmarking improves decision making, since organisations have enhanced information. This could allow organisations to reach higher levels of performance. Data can be shared to benchmark individual organisations on several indicators such as financial performance (e.g. on revenue growth, or revenue-profit distributions) or their ecological footprint.

Industry associations play an essential role in facilitating digital collaboration 

An organisation that facilitates digital collaboration needs to have interest in performance of the whole sector instead of only in its own performance. Next to that, it should be trusted by all organisations within its sector. Industry associations are in a unique position to facilitate this, as they already represent organisations within a sector and already facilitate collaboration. Industry associations are in a good position to further drive the digital collaboration within a sector, as they have a neutral, trusted position within the sector and aim for performance of the whole sector.

A fruitful basis to share data is key in fulfilling the potential of benchmarks for sectors 

To create sector trends and benchmarks, industry associations need data of all organisations within their sector. Industry associations can function as a central actor to collect the information while being independent and neutral towards the different organisations.

Currently, in certain sectors data is already shared with industry associations for benchmarks. However, data is mostly shared in different formats, leading to different levels of data compatibility, quality of data and a lack of data (details). As a result, data benchmarks can be inaccurate and are mostly on a high level. Many industry associations are not even able to perform benchmarks as it requires a lot of manual effort to compare results.

Ideally, a data sharing infrastructure exists that enables sharing of multiple types of data between organisations and industry associations with minimal effort for both parties. In addition, organisations need to trust the industry association to share data with them. Therefore, business, legal, operational, functional and technical agreements between the industry association, its members and organisations with data sources are needed.

Exploiting the potential of sector benchmarking by designing a scalable data sharing infrastructure

The Data Sharing Coalition facilitates a use case on sectoral benchmarking for industry associations in collaboration with SBR Nexus and various industry associations. In this use case a generic design that is scalable to different types of data and different industry associations will be created. The use case aims at sharing various types of data of industry association members with industry associations to create valuable insights about the whole sector. Extracting, analysing and reporting this data allows an industry association to provide its members and the larger public (e.g. government agencies) with aggregated insights and trends in sector performance in different relevant (policy) areas. Also, these insights will be used to benchmark an organisation’s individual performance relative to its peers.

Are you interested in this use case? Learn more 

We always welcome ideas to define and realise new cross-sectoral use cases of data sharing. Do you have an interesting idea? Please send us an email:


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