Report: Importance of mobility data in business quickly growing

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 30.1.2018 11.00
News item
(Photo: Rodeo)
(Photo: Rodeo)

Companies produce and utilise a great deal of mobility data in different fields. It has been estimated that its importance will increase in the future. Previously, data was collected from transport routes, while now the positioning of vehicles has been utilised. These days, a more extensive amount of data is also available from individual transport users. Real-time forecasts will become part of provided services in coming years.

These results are listed in an analysis commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which surveyed the types of transport and mobility-related data the private sector collects, the purposes for which the data is collected, how and with what methods the data is utilised or disclosed to another party.

At the same time, information was gathered on the views of companies concerning problems and opportunities related to data utilisation. Most of those who participated in the analysis felt that they could share data with certain limitations, if this could lead to apparent business benefits.

In most cases, the data utilised by companies were self-produced. Data produced by other companies and the public sector are either used in their original form or after it has been further processed

The private sector compiles data on traffic flow and mobility of equipment, the status of traffic, conditions and services as well as on infrastructure. Companies collect data on location, volume, observations and deviations, speed and flow, behaviour and service level.

It has become evident that companies are willing to pay the most for data related to road maintenance and, for example, for data on slippery road conditions, deviations in traffic, routes, timetables and anonymised monitoring data on transport users.

Especially the fragmented nature of data, the lack of standardisation and the high cost and availability of technology creates significant challenges. Many actors are as of yet not knowledgeable of new more stringent data protection legislation, and for this reason we must be very careful in the utilisation and disclosure of personal data.

According to the analysis, the most important obstacles for disclosing data are data protection issues, the large amount of work that is required in the sharing of data and companies feeling that the data is so important to its own business that they are unwilling to share it with others. Companies already share data they produce to some extent with other actors. Even those actors that do not currently share their data would be prepared to open their interfaces under certain conditions.

In addition to the report, the analysis includes a data map on mobility data collected by companies by data set, as well as a list of companies that collect and utilise data.


Ms Anne Miettinen, Senior Adviser, + 358 40 754 9862