As enterprises worldwide recognize the value of data, so too are forward-looking countries that are eager to capitalize on the economic benefits of today’s digital world.

But what does this mean at the macro-economic level, and how can success be measured?

Researchers at Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently looked at how countries across the globe are performing when it comes to digital transformation and new data-driven economic models. To do this, HBR looked at several factors to determine a country’s position and future outlook in the data economy. They included:

  1. Volume: The amount of broadband consumed by a country
  2. Usage: Number of users active on the internet
  3. Accessibility: Institutional openness to wider usability and accessibility of data by researchers, innovators, and applications
  4. Complexity: Volume of broadband consumption per capita

While complexities exist, including how countries handle data privacy, when the HBR researchers looked across the four categories above, weighing them equally, the following list of the top ten “data” producers was the result:

1. United States

2. United Kingdom

3. China

4. Switzerland

5. South Korea

6. France

7. Canada

8. Sweden

9. Australia

10. Czech Republic

While some of the countries leading the way may come as a surprise, including the US and China, others offer interesting insight into how digital transformation on a global level is accelerating and evolving. 

According to the article, “If the EU were to act as a collective, it represents a key producer that could rival the U.S. Besides, China, other BRIC nations, Brazil, India, and Russia, could emerge as strong tier two contenders, largely on the strengths of raw data they produce.”

There’s little doubt that data will continue to fuel enterprise value and economic benefits globally. As AI and algorithms advance, a new world of data could emerge, according to the article.

If you’d like to explore this topic further, including the rest of the countries on the list, you can find the original HBR piece here.